Thursday, April 17, 2014

April Aeration, All Done

Early spring is a great time to aerate the lawn to breathe new life into the turf roots, literally.  Those pulled out plugs leave behind opportunities for air, moisture and fertilizer to move right in and get things growing for the outdoor season. There's always the question as to the best time to aerate, spring or fall if you can just do it once a year. Fall is a good time after the long, hot summer when the lawn has been used extensively for activities that compact the soil and grass. But spring works too to get the grass off on the right foot so it can handle all the summer fun. Whatever season you prefer, just get 'er done soon. Kindly ask the operator to pass over the lawn several times in many directions to pull plugs that are close together. My area needed a few more passes.

Water the lawn well a day or two in advance to promote better plug pulls.  You can over-seed your lawn right after aeration, then fertilizer over the seeds. This is the BEST way to improve your turf thickness and to fill in bare spots.  Purchase grass seed from a local garden center, that way you'll know the seed will grow well in your lawn (not a generic brand sold in a box store that is sold all over the country).  If you want to add a fourth step...top dress over the entire lawn after aerating, seeding, and fertilizing. Use the back side of a metal rack to smooth over the compost. Some people rake the plugs after aerating, especially if top dressing. For top dressing use a well-composted soil amendment or top soil.  If seeding, be sure to water at least twice a day when temperatures are getting in the 70s. 

Feeling the air already, once the fertilizer kicks in the dog spots should disappear!



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