Help Your Lawn Take a Deep (and Needed) Breath
OK, perhaps we misspoke when we wrote that killing weeds would be the final “lawn work” of the year.
There’s one more step we suggest – and, once again, it’s an outgrowth (pun intended) of this year’s weird weather in Brookfield, WI.
Did you know that nearly two-thirds of our summer days had rain? All that moisture creates soft, often mushy soil. This leaves it extra vulnerable to being compacted from people and pets walking, running, playing and cutting the grass.
Compacted soil is hard and difficult to penetrate. Try digging into it with a shovel – you’ll understand quickly. Water runs off rather than absorb into the ground. Grass suffers. Drainage problems can result.
The best fix is aeration, a process of physically pulling out plugs of soil to loosen the ground. Aeration helps soil to absorb and retain moisture.
If your lawn experienced lots of activity this summer, aeration is a smart move to consider before winter. We at GMS can still fit you in the fall aeration schedule – just give us a call.
If you prefer to do it yourself, the first step is calling equipment rental stores to check the availability of lawn aerators. If you’ve never used one, know that an aerator is a very heavy piece of equipment; be sure your car or truck can haul it safely, and bring a strong partner to help lift it into and out of the vehicle.
Water your lawn one or two days prior to aeration. Doing so will help the aerator unit pull the soil cores more easily.
An aerator is self-propelled, like most lawnmowers, but with quite a bit more kick. Aerate in rows, similar to cutting grass, and go over each lane only once.
Your lawn will be covered in soil plugs when finished. It’s a bit unsightly, yet poses no harm. You can rake the cores up; it’s just as well to let them decompose.
Immediately after aeration is a great time to fertilize your lawn, or spread grass seed where needed.
Aeration can benefit any lawn, anytime. Though it might seem counterintuitive – lots of rain made the ground harder? – conditions make aeration especially valuable this year in yards throughout Elm Grove and New Berlin.
Better aerate soon, though; before we know it, the ground everywhere will be hardened not by compaction, but by the onset of freezing temperatures. Will your fall lawn checklist be completed?
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