What is it? Aeration is the process of removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn (with an aerator machine) to improve natural soil aeration. Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate to the grasses root. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more healthy lawn. The main reason for lawn aeration is to alleviate soil compaction. Compacted soil has too many solid particles, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Aeration allows your grass to grow deeper roots and make better use of water and fertilizer.
What Can You Expect With Aeration?
After aeration, your lawn will be lined with small plugs pulled from the soil. Within 1-2 weeks, they break apart and disappear into the lawn. About 7 to 10 days after aeration, the aeration holes will be filled with white, growing roots. This is a sign that your grass is receiving better oxygen, moisture and nutrients from the soil. If your lawn is heavily compacted and, on a slope,, you should see a difference in water puddling and runoff after irrigation or rainfall. Your lawn should be able to go longer between watering, without showing signs of wilting. With regular aeration’s, your lawn will show heat and drought stress tolerance. Most lawns benefit from annual aeration. However, don’t expect miracles, especially with poor soil, lawns that receive this care will be healthier and easier to maintain. Upon completion of lawn aeration, there will be 2-3″ “plugs” that sit on your lawn, this is normal and these plugs do not need to be raked or removed (recommended they stay and break down to add back to your lawns soil). This type of service does not look “beautiful” when completed, due to the plugs that sit atop the lawn (usually break down and dispensary over a few weeks). However, Aeration is one of the best services you can provide your lawn.
What is it? Power raking is the removal of dead grass from your turf, it reduces the build-up of moss in your lawn by removing the competition for water and nutrients.
- A simple way to tell if your lawn is in need of Power Raking. Dig into the soil with your fingers, if the soil feels spongy or presses down more than 1/2 inch, Power Raking is recommended. Most lawns need de-thatched every two years, but all of this depends on how the lawn is use; kids, dogs, etc.
- After Power Raking, you will have “dead grass” sitting on top of your lawn, also known as Thatch. It is recommended you rake and remove this debris in order for your lawn to flourish!
Caring for your lawn after Aeration & Seeding
After your lawn has been carefully aerated and seeded, it needs proper ongoing maintenance. During the several weeks following your aeration and seeding service, proper maintenance is extremely important to ensure the success of seed germination. (see watering info below)
How to care for your newly seeded lawn.
STAY OFF THE GRASS.
It’s very important to keep your pets and children from playing on a over seeded and newly seeded lawn. It is not harmful to humans or pets, however to assure your lawn fills in and takes root, the less traffic, the better! During this initial establishment period, we recommend that homeowners try to keep their foot traffic to a minimum following seeding. The seed will begin to germinate throughout the first month. By limiting foot traffic, you offer the seed the best opportunity possible to properly germinate and sprout new growth.
WATER YOUR GRASS.
It is best to water grass in the morning. When you water your lawn at night or late in the evening, it can promote an environment for fungus and disease.
- Week 1 & 2
During the first two weeks following your aeration and seeding service, the main goal is to keep the ground & seed, moist while the seed begins to germinate. It’s recommended that you water your lawn 1-2 times a day for at least 20 minutes in all areas of the lawn. Be sure not to over water to the point that the seed washes away before germination.
- Week 3 & 4
Your grass seed has begun to germinate and grow. During week 3 & 4 following seeding, you should continue watering the lawn in order to keep the soil damp, but not soggy. Decrease watering to 3-4 times per week to retain moisture needed for the new seed. The lawn will need to be cut once it reaches around 4 inches in height. Do not mow the grass too short! The new grass needs ample time to mature and to begin establishing it’s root system and will scalp easily. Before mowing, you should discontinue watering for 1 day to allow the lawn to dry out.
- Week 4 & Beyond
A month after your new seed has had time to establish, it’s safe to mow your lawn as needed. It’s still important to use gentle care during this time so that you do not damage your newly seeded lawn. You should also continue watering the lawn three times a week, your lawn needs around 1” of water, each week.
How to care for your fertilized lawn
Here in Colorado, due to our abundance of clay in the soil, it’s recommended to fertilize your lawn up to 9 times per year. With clay soil, nutrients are often washed away by our sprinkler systems. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of fertilizing your lawn and replenishing it’s nutrients! This ensures that the product will be washed into the soil and become available to the grass through the roots. All fertilizers should be watered in after being applied. Thistle & Wood only uses organic fertilizer, safe for you, your kids & your pets!
Here is the recommended fertilizer schedule by the Richlawn Company (a Colorado native company who provides the best nutrients for our Colorado lawns!)