Most Utahn’s struggle with clay soils that are literally strangling the root systems of their grass. This compaction is created by traffic, the changing of the seasons temperatures and snowfall over the winter. The clay soil can inhibit your grass roots from establishing leaving you with a thin bug and weed ridden lawn.
Core Aeration is a process of passing over your lawn with a commercial grade core aerator that pulls out “plugs” of dirt out of you lawn.
Aera is actually the Greek prefix for Air so aerate actually really just means to oxygenate the lawn. It is also an extremely beneficial process and to allow fertilizer, seed, soil conditioners etc… to get directly down into the ground and help your lawn further thrive. It also breaks through the thatch layer in the lawn allowing the microorganisms in the thatch (dead grass) to decompose into to soil. Aeration alone is great but when combined with one or more of the aforementioned can be a very effective way to restore or further establish a thick, lush, healthy lawn and as the immune system of the lawn is further strengthened it will “push out” weeds and insects from the lawn that typically attack a weak immune system.
Q: What should I do with the plugs left in the lawn?
A: Just leave them. Even though it looks like every dog in the neighborhood has stopped by, they contain many good nutrients and minerals that are beneficial to your lawns health. With regular watering and mowing they will decompose soon.
Q: When should I aerate?
A: How healthy do you want your yard? Golf courses aerate monthly for beautiful greens. By rule of thumb if you have clay soil you should do it at least twice a year typically spring and fall. Sandy soils require aeration once a year. It’s typically best to aerate in the fall however if precautions are taken we can aerate in the summer as well.
Q: Does aeration really work?
A: Yes and no. If not done right the results can be marginal at best. If your lawn is very hard you may want to lightly water it before we come over to allow for better tine penetration. Again, when combined with fertilizer, seed and soil conditioners you can expect much growth and good grass color.