Let Greenearth Help With Lawn Aeration And Top Dressing
At GreenEarth, we can evaluate your lawn and let you know if it would benefit from aeration and top dressing. If it will, we can do the hard work for you.
If youd like a consultation on the health of your lawn and what can be done to improve it, give us a call at our Panama City Beach office at 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at 267-0010 to set up an appointment.
You can also fill out the online form on our website to schedule a consultation or download our FREE Landscape Planning Guide below and start turning lush landscape dreams into reality.
Thatch And Compaction: 2 Problems You Can Fix
Over time, little bits and pieces of grass die and gather just above the soil. This is called thatch. A little bit of thatch can be beneficial. It’s organic material that is broken down by microbes in the soil. But sometimes, thatch builds up too fast for natural processes to break it down. It forms a barrier, keeping moisture and air from going where your grass needs it. A half-inch or more of thatch can weaken your lawn. You have 2 ways to remove it: dethatching and aerating.
The Benefits Of Aerating Before Overseeding
Many people choose to aerate the lawn before spreading the seeds. The reason why they do this is because they want to create holes where the seeds can easily drop into. Getting the seeds into the holes is great for seed-to-soil contact. It improves the likelihood of successful germination. You should follow these two steps if you want to aerate the lawn before overseeding:
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Yes Aeration And Overseeding Can Work For You
So, as weve established, the big answer to the question youre asking is Yes! Aeration and overseeding does work, and it can work for you if you choose to let it.
But it does mean choosing a trustworthy and professional lawn aerating and seeding service in Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA that is going to give you the desired results by using top-of-the-line equipment and high-quality grass seed.
Restoring a browned out, beat-up lawn was certainly a challenge, but you can get the lawn of your dreams if you choose the right method and find the right lawn care service.
If youd like us to help restore life to your thinned out lawn, were up for that challenge. We truly do believe that aeration and overseeding are two of the most important things you can do for your lawns health and we always recommend them as part of a successful lawn care program.
If youd like to find out more about having us restore your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA lawn with aeration, then contact us for a free consultation or feel free to give us a call at 610-365-2200.
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Why We Aerate And Compost Lawns
For some commercial landscaping companies, simply aerating your lawn is considered enough. But at Level Green Landscaping, our maintenance crews understand you need a good soil foundation if your landscape is going to look its best.
Thats why the next step in our recipe for creating a healthy, lush lawn is adding compost to the soil, which is known as topdressing.
Compost is a mixture of vegetative matter that has broken down during time to form a rich mixture of humus. It helps the structure of the soil that the grass is growing in and makes it easier for the turf roots to expand in the soil.
Here are some additional benefits of adding compost when overseeding:
- Releases nutrients slowly, having a longer effect on the health of your lawn
- Helps neutralize acid and alkaline soils
- Contains macro and micronutrients
- Reduces erosion and runoff issues
- Can reduce the amount of chemicals needed on turf
We spread a topsoil compost mix over bare patches and poorly performing turf on your lawn. Topdressing helps improve the nutrient and organic levels of the soil, while also increasing the success rate of germination of the seed. And if youre going to pay to have your lawn overseeded, you want to ensure its going to work and actually grow in your soil conditions.
We spread ½ inch of compost over the targeted areas in your lawn. Having nutrient-rich soil helps lay the groundwork for having your lawn overseeded.
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Complete Guide To Aerating Your Lawn: What Is Aeration
Aeration is the process of removing soil cores or plugs from your lawn by extracting little chunks of dirt from the lawn surface. These dirt clumps are ½ inch to ¾ inch in diameter. The holes are typically 1.5 to 6 inches deep and the holes are 2 to 5 inches apart.
So, what exactly does aeration do? It allows for air circulation at the root level of your lawn. This provides the optimal soil condition for healthy grass and growth. Aerating hosts a list of benefits to your lawn.
The Best Time To Aerate And Overseed A Lawn
Fall is the best time to aerate and overseed a lawn. Its because aerating can cause great stress to the lawn. But grass has the ability to recover quickly after summer dormancy. The best month to aerate your lawn depends on your grass species and the weather. You want to aerate after summer dormancy.
Summer dormancy can end as early as August. You can aerate and overseed the lawn in October to be safe. September can also be a good month to aerate and overseed the lawn if the weather allows it. But you dont want to aerate and overseed the lawn if the weather gets too cold. Its definitely too late to aerate and overseed the lawn if the grass has entered winter dormancy because of the cold weather. Its better to wait until next year if your lawn has gone dormant again.
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When Should I Dethatch My Lawn
Dethatch the Lawn For northern grass the best time to dethatch your entire lawn is in late summer to early fall when the grass is actively growing. For southern grasses, dethatch in late spring. In early spring, and for small areas, use a thatching rake, which is a sharp-tined rake that rips the thatch out of the lawn.
Create A Lawn Watering Schedule
Whether you have an automatic underground system or you need to plan for a temporary irrigation system, be sure to understand proper watering practices and gather the necessary equipment in advance.
Temporary system items can include hoses, timers, splitters, and sprinklers. Finding these items beforehand will ensure you can water properly when it counts.
If soil conditions are drier than normal, you may want to make sure you are watering your lawn a few times the week or so before your aeration, to make sure the soil isnt rock-hard. Typical amounts of irrigation should suffice. Dont over-water your lawn as it can make it extremely soft, posing damage potential by aeration machines.
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When Should You Not Aerate Your Lawn
Spring is not the ideal time to aerate the lawn, but circumstances may require it. If the soil is so compacted that existing grass can’t grow, it may be necessary to aerate in the spring. 1 Generally, though, spring aerating is discouraged because the aeration holes provide a perfect spot for weed seeds to germinate.
How Often Should I Aerate
How often you aerate your lawn depends on a few factors. Our turf care experts at Timberline recommend once annually, during fall, for the typical lawn. If your lawn is walked on, mowed, or used very often, this will cause additional compaction. Clay soil types tend to compact more than other soils which could increase the need for aeration.
High use lawns may require twice per year aeration, once in spring and once in fall, to keep them healthy and beautiful. However, the opposite is also true. If your lawn is lush, beautiful, and almost never has foot traffic, aerating every couple of years may be the best fit. Its important to remember, aerating too often can cause more harm than good for your lawn. If youre unsure how often to aerate or what soil type you have, a turf care expert will assist you in determining your lawn care needs.
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Signs I Need To Aerate
What are some signs that I need to aerate my lawn? Not all lawn care problems are solved with aeration, but knowing the signs of grass that needs some help will allow you to determine if aerating will solve your turf issues. Signs that you may need to aerate are:
- Spots in your lawn with stunted growth
- High traffic on the lawn
- Standing water, water pools or excessive water runoff
Should You Water Before Or After Overseeding
Watering the lawn before overseeding is generally a bad idea. When you overseed your lawn, the new seeds compete with the old established grass. Watering the lawn before overseeding supports the old established grass. It makes the competition worse for the new seeds.
You want to decrease competition between the established grass and the new seeds. Stop watering or start watering less than 4 to 7 days before overseeding. It applies to the area you want to drop new seeds to.
You should keep the overseeded area moist after overseeding. Dont let it get dry. Water it lightly and frequently. The point here is to keep the soil moist during germination and establishment. Germination and establishment can take from three weeks to up to four weeks depending on the grass species. You might have to water the area two or three times per day if the soil doesnt stay damp and dries up fast.
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Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn
One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for aeration if it:
- Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
- Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.
When Is The Best Time Of Year To Aerate
Timing is everything when it comes to aeration. If you get aeration-happy at the wrong time, you could end up severely harming your lawn instead of helping it grow. To time it properly, you need to consider both the season and the weather conditions.
Your season will be determined by the type of grass you have: you want to aerate at the beginning of the peak growing season. This will help your lawn quickly recover from the temporary damage aeration causes and promote maximum growth of the root system. If the grass is still completely brown, it is not the time to aerate! The grass should be greening first. For cool season turf like fescue, bluegrasses, and ryegrass, aerate in the fall. Much of the turf in Colorado Springs is cool season. For warm-season turf like Bermuda, Buffalo, and St. Augustine, the time to aerate is in late spring or early summer.
Weather conditions also must be right for aeration. Aeration does cause some root damage, so you need to avoid dry periods, heat waves, and cold snaps to avoid further stressing your lawn. While the soil should be moist, aeration also should not be done when it is overly soaked, or the soil will clump together and not be aerated properly.
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Will Core Aeration And Overseeding Fix All Your Lawns Problems
It will help a lot, but if you have significant lawn problems then its recommend you take an additional step and top dress your lawn.
When you top dress after core aerating, and before overseeding, it can drastically improve your lawn.
It gives you the opportunity to remove whole sections of your lawn that are completely damaged or overrun with weeds.
This is a great service for a lawn that needs more of a serious renovation.
How To Tell If Your Turf Needs Aerating
Lawns become compacted quite quickly when people frequently walk on them. Once your soil begins to become compacted, less and less oxygen gets into the soil and the toxic gases that the soil has to release cannot get out.
Lawns with compacted soil never have a healthy or attractive appearance.
The worse the compaction, the less attractive the lawn will look.
Another problem with compacted soil is that it will be more likely to suffer from problems with disease and pests.
It will also have difficulty dealing with environmental stresses.
Aeration helps to slow down thatch build-up and delay the need to dethatch your lawn.
Thatch builds up on your lawn when dead plant material is left to sit. When the layer of thatch gets to be more than an inch thick, it will be difficult for new grass roots to penetrate the soil. Excessive thatch will also make your lawn more likely to have problems with pest infestation and disease.
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Should You Mow The Lawn Before And After Overseeding
You can mow the lawn before and after overseeding. Mow the area before and after overseeding to reduce competition between new and more established species. Give the new seeds chance to populate your lawn by doing this.
You should mow the lawn down to 1.5 or 2 inches before overseeding but let your lawn rest for at least two days before you start overseeding. Mow the lawn before overseeding to improve seed-to-soil contact. It means that the seeds should touch the soil. It helps them to get the nutrients it needs for growth.
Good seed-to-soil contact helps the seeds grow by feeding them all the essential nutrients. Poor seed-to-soil contact does nothing. The more contact you get between the seeds and the soil, the better. Overseeding will not be successful without having good seed-to-soil contact.
You should mow the lawn after overseeding too. Keep the lawn between 1.5 and 2 inches tall. You can increase the mowing height slowly as the new seedlings grow and get more established.
Why You Should Aerate
Aeration is the antidote to the heavily compacted soil, which may be present on a lawn that gets very heavy foot traffic, or which is planted on a soil base that is heavy in clay content. It rarely is necessary where soils are on the sandy side. Core aeration is sometimes advertised as a solution to problems with thatch however, it does not do much to relieve that problem if thatch is already present. Where thatch is a genuine problem, a true dethatching operation is a better solution. However, dethatching is a fairly violent action to a lawn, and an annual core aeration may well prevent thatch problems in the first place.
If you have the type of soil and conditions that require lawn aeration, you can do it once each year. It does not hurt your lawn, and in fact, will make it healthier and more attractive. Some people dislike the look of the small plugs of soil and turf that are pulled up and scattered over the lawn, and if so, you can rake them up. Left on the lawn, though, they will quickly break up and decompose.
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Can You Overseed Without Aerating
To overseed a lawn without aerating, start by mowing it lower than 2 inches and follow it up with raking to remove debris and loosen up the topsoil. Spread the grass seed and then rake over it gently. Fertilize with a starter fertilizer and then water the lawn lightly until the grass grows to a good mowing height.
What To Do After Aerating A Lawn In Spring
Spring is the optimal time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide after aeration in any climate. If you are having severe weed-control issues and you did not overseed after frost the previous year, a pre-emergent herbicide used after aeration can help your grass to get a head start on the season. This is one of the few things you can do to increase the thickness of your lawn without adding more grass seed.
If you are not applying a herbicide in the spring, this is a good time to overseed your lawn, especially in warmer climates. Alternatively, fertilizer applied to the spring may get more mileage than it would if it were applied in the fall, in colder climates.
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How Often Should The Lawn Be Aerated
Aeration is only necessary once a year, and over several years, this schedule will have your lawn in a consistently well-aerated condition. If you have very compact soil, like clay soil, you may need to aerate twice a year, spread out 6 months apart. Remember, aeration is good for the lawn, but it does disrupt the roots just enough to not damage them.