Reasons to Core and Aerate this Fall
Aeration is the perfect way to help restore your lawn after the stresses of summer. Now is the time to act to get the healthy, thick lawn you’ll be proud of once spring rolls around. The experts at TruGreen have summed up for us why we need to core and aerate in the late summer/early fall. First, let's define what those two things are!
CORE AERATION: Core aeration is a mechanical process, which extracts cores of soil, thatch and grass from the surface of the lawn to increase nutrient availability, water penetration, soil air exchange and reduce compaction.
So what are the benefits?
1. Relieves soil compaction. Compacted soil can prevent air, water and fertilizer from reaching your lawn’s root system, causing dead spots, patches and/or thinning. By removing cores in the aeration process, soil density is decreased, thus relieving compaction.
2. Aids in thatch management. Thatch, the layer of dead grass that accumulates on your lawn can build up to a thick layer, robbing your grass of necessary rain and nutrients which can be detrimental to your lawn if left untreated. Core aeration helps manage that build-up by introducing thatch-decomposing microorganisms from the soil to the top of the thatch layer.
3. Increases nutrient availability. Aeration allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the soil. When nutrients penetrate deeper into the root zone, they become available to the turf.
4. Benefits pH modification. Applying lime or sulphur after core aeration promotes the change of pH deeper into the soil profile.
5. Builds a thicker lawn. Aeration stimulates root development and growth, but cool season grasses need overseeding to help fill in bare spots and thicken up the turf, which helps crowd out weeds come spring. Overseeding alongside aeration enhances seed to soil contact necessary for germination and creates a moist, protected environment optimal for seedling growth and development.
6. Reduced water runoff and puddling. If you find your yard has runoff or puddling problems after a rain, aeration could be the fix you need.
7. Prepares grass for winter dormancy and a green spring. Before your cool-season grass goes dormant, make sure it’s in tip-top shape by pairing fall aeration with fall fertilization. Aerating prior to fertilizing will help the nutrients soak in more effectively.
Planning for aeration and fertilization in the fall gives cool-season grasses enough of a buffer to protect the grass from summer drought stress and ideally enough time before the first winter frost arrives.
If you need a service provider recommendation for core aeration, please let us know!