Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Benefits of Lawn Aeration

If your lawn sees heavy traffic-- kids playing, family gatherings and the like ? it could be suffering to some degree from soil compaction.Compaction causes soil to lose its fluffy texture, keeps out air and water and makes it tough for grass roots to grow. Annual Core Aeration is beneficial for most lawns.Lawns growing on heavy clay or subsoils, and lawns exposed to intense use benefit from more than one aeration each year. In general, benefits from core aeration increase when tine spacing is closer and penetration is deeper. Most turfgrasses respond favorably to aeration when it is properly timed.Both spring and fall are ideal times to aerate cool season turfgrass such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. In most cases, spring aeration is performed between March and May, depending on the locations, turfgrass species and intensity of use. Fall aeration is done in late summer and early fall, usually between August and November. Aeration before or at the time of late season fertilization enhances root growth responses and improves spring greenup and growth.It is best to aerate warm season turfgrasses such as zoysiagrass and bermudagrass in mid-spring to summer. Avoid aerating when warm season grasses are dormant. This may encourage cool season weed competition. In addition, avoid aerating warm season grasses during spring greenup. It is best not to aerate warm season lawns until after they have received their first mowing in spring.Although aeration is beneficial for lawns, it also can open up spaces for weeds such as crabgrass and annual bluegrass to invade the lawn. It is best to aerate before you apply pre-emergence herbicides, rather than after. Aerating after a herbicide application can reduce the chemical barrier formed by the herbicide, thereby allowing some weeds to germinate and grow in the lawn. Applying fertilizer after aeration helps the lawn compete against weeds. Water the lawn after aeration, particularly in areas where drought and high temperatures are common. Click to enter the Garden Center

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