If you’ve struggled with maintaining a green lawn all season, you might think it’s too late to enjoy some greenery. We’re here to tell you that’s not the case. Performing core aeration will rejuvenate your turfgrass and help it green up before winter. It’s one of – if not the most – essential lawn maintenance treatments you can do this season. Here’s why.
Why Core Aeration Is An Essential Lawn Service In Fall
What Does Core Aeration Do
If you’re not familiar with this lawn treatment, core aeration, also referred to as “traditional aeration,” is a process that punches thousands of tiny holes in your lawn. Don’t worry – these holes are pretty small and won’t alter the appearance of your yard. Using a specialized machine, your lawn technician will walk the aerator across your lawn. The “plugs” of soil that the device removes are deposited on the surface of the lawn where they will naturally break down and turn into mulch – putting nutrients back in the lawn. Punching all those tiny holes allows air, water, sunlight, and minerals to penetrate the soil and get to the root zone once again. So why is this is important to do in the fall?
Leaving Soil Compacted Over Winter Is Bad
Ideally, the soil should be loose and porous so that the turfgrass roots can quickly move and expand through it. However, over time the ground will naturally lose this quality and become harder, like cement. This often happens in areas with a lot of foot traffic. When soil is tough and challenging to break through with a shovel, we refer to it as “compacted.” When soil is too hard, the roots of the grass can’t easily move and expand, which stunts the lawn’s growth. When soil is left in this condition over winter, it is incredibly challenging for the grass to recover in spring. Fall is when the grass will shift focus from growing the blades above the soil to expanding its roots and storing nutrients for winter. By aerating in the fall, you’re giving your grass room to breathe.
Aerate Without The Weeds
By aeration in autumn, you won’t have to worry about accidentally picking up dormant weeds, which can sometimes happen in spring. Since fall is when many broadleaf weeds are going dormant for winter, you can aerate without churning them up and depositing them on the surface of your lawn.
Aeration Primes Your Lawn For Seeding
All those holes in your lawn create the perfect conditions for fresh grass seed if that’s something you choose to have done. Overseeding a yard under normal circumstances is fine, and the seeds will settle on the surface of the soil. However, if you’ve just aerated, the seeds can nestle down into those holes and cozy up in the earth. They’ll have a better chance of establishing in your lawn, especially cool-season grasses. Cool-season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, love autumnal conditions. The days are warm with lots of sun, but not scorching and dry like they can be in the middle of summer.
On the other hand, the nights are cool and damp but not freezing. These two conditions are the ideal yin-yang of balance that grass seed loves. And remember that most weeds go dormant in the cool season. Consequently, when that fresh grass seed sprouts, it won’t have as much, if any, competition from weeds. If you’re not sure which type of grass seed is best for your lawn, be sure to ask your lawn care services technician!
Aeration Breaks Up Thatch
If you’ve ever raked leaves in the fall, you’ve probably noticed a straw like substance that gets pulled up from your lawn. That’s part of the thatch layer. “Thatch” is a catch-all phrase for organic debris that gets deposited in the lawn. Usually, it comprises dead grass, but it could also include things like dead tree leaves, flower petals, twigs, etc. Having some thatch on your lawn is a good thing, and it helps trap moisture, which is a boon during the hot, dry summer. However, when thatch is too thick, it can smother the grass, just like compacted soil. Thick thatch also invites diseases like mildews and molds, which thrive in dark, dank environments. And then there are the insect varieties of pests, like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks – all of whom love shady places in the grass where they can hide from predators.
Get Core Aeration Service In Metro Knoxville
It’s still not too late to have core aeration done this fall! Let the experts at Emerald Island Lawn Service go to work for you. Since 1999, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners revitalize their yards. You don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy a burst of green. Contact us by phone at 865-588-4497 or send us a message online here to schedule an aeration treatment. And don’t forget to check our blog page next month for more tips on maintaining the dream backyard!