What is Aerating?
Lawn aeration involves the removal of small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn. Although hand aerators are available, most aeration is done mechanically with a machine having hollow tines or spoons mounted on a disk or drum. Known as a core aerator, it extracts 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter cores of soil and deposits them on your lawn. Aeration holes are typically 1-6 inches deep and 2-6 inches apart. Other types of aerators push solid spikes or tines into the soil without removing a plug (spiking). These are not as effective because they can contribute to compaction. Core aeration is a recommended lawn care practice on compacted, heavily used turf and to control thatch buildup.
What will aeration do for my lawn?
As lawns age or sustain heavy use from play, sports activities, pets, vehicle traffic and parking, soil compaction can result. Soil compacting forces are most severe in poorly drained or wet sites. Compaction greatly reduces the pore space within the soil that would normally hold air. Roots require oxygen to grow and absorb nutrients and water. Compaction reduces total pore space and the amount of air within the soil. It has a negative impact on nutrient uptake and water infiltration, in addition to being a physical barrier to root growth. This results in poor top growth and lawn deterioration. Core aeration can benefit your lawn by:
• increasing the activity of soil microorganisms that decompose thatch
• increasing water, nutrient and oxygen movement into the soil
• improving rooting
• enhancing infiltration of rainfall or irrigation
• helping prevent fertilizer and pesticide run-off from overly compacted areas
What is De-Thatching?
Dethatching simply is the removal of the thatch layer. Thatch removal can be accomplished manually, with a dethatching rake---which can be time-consuming for any but the smallest areas of lawn---or more quickly and effectively with a gas-powered power rake.
What Is Thatch?
Thatch looks like a layer of brown, matted grass and often is mistaken for an accumulation of grass clippings. However, thatch is the layer of rhizomes, crowns and stems left behind from dead grass.
According to David Mellor, master groundskeeper of Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts and the author of "The Lawn Bible," "Having some thatch on your lawn is good---too much is bad." If your lawn has more than 1/2 an inch of thatch, dethatching will allow more water, fertilizer and air to reach the soil and grass roots, resulting in a healthier lawn
Another major benefit to using fertilizer on your lawn is that there won’t be any room for weeds. As the grass grows, implanting the root system, unwanted weeds will get choked out as they won’t have room to grow. Without lawn fertilization, grass can lose its vigor and wilt away under the summer sun. To keep your grass looking healthy, fertilize it on a regular basis. Once treated, you’ll notice that your grass grows faster, thicker and exhibits more of a vibrant green color.
For established turf with bare or weakened, thinning areas caused by drought or traffic, overseeding is the best way to re-establish thick, healthy, more decease resistant turf. Professionals tend to dethatch and overseed at the same time. Dethatching first to remove any matted thatch. Doing both allows for the best possible penetration of seed and root establishment. Seeding is the process of embedding seed into the soil at an appropriate depth. Seeding can be done manually by "turning the lawn" and dropping in seed. "Turning the lawn" is as literal and labor intensive as it sounds.
Re-sodding is the best and most efficiency way to rid your lawn of weeds and pesky grubs. The lawn is scrapped up, new soil put down and fresh healthy sod is placed. The only guarantee with this is; if you don't water the lawn it will die. However with proper watering for a month the new lawn will provide years of greenery for your viewing pleasure.