If you have ever been on a golf course or lived near one, you may have noticed that once or twice per season, thousands of tiny holes and a thin layer of sand on the short grass surface of the putting greens. That's because each season golf course maintenance crews perform an important maintenance practice: core aeration. Let's take a look at how core aeration benefits your yard.
Core Aeration improves overall turf health
Core aeration gives your yard's root zone greater access to air, water, and essential nutrients. This results in deeper and more extensive turfgrass roots. Stronger, healthier roots equal a stronger, healthier turf.
Core Aeration reduces thatch build-up
Thatch is the loose, intermingled organic layer of dead and living stems, shoots, and roots that forms between the green vegetation zone and the soil surface. It can become thick enough to block the necessary rain and nutrients from reaching the grassroots. In core aeration, holes are drilled through the thatch, allowing the soil and root system to take in water and nutrients. It also brings thatch-decomposing microorganisms in the soil up to the thatch layer.
Core aeration and compacted soil
Common Causes of soil compaction:
- Poor landscaping: over-tilling, working it up when it’s too wet, and mixing in sand contribute to soil compaction.
- Pressure applied to a lawn surface: people walking, cars and heavy equipment compress the soil.
- Newly constructed home: The topsoil of newly constructed lawns is often stripped or buried, and construction traffic has compacted the grass established on subsoil.
Negative effects of soil compaction:
- Thirsty roots: Rather than reaching thirsty roots, water pools on the concrete-like surface of a yard with compacted soil.
- Suffocating and starving roots: Air and fertilizer are also blocked from reaching your lawn’s root system, resulting in thinning or, even worse, dead spots.
The Benefits of Lawn Aeration
- Soil gets a drink and a snack: Core aeration loosens the soil by removing cores, allowing the root system to breathe.
- Core aeration allows pH modification: To know whether the soil is acidic and lime is necessary, you will need to test the soil pH with a pH soil testing kit. Dropping lime or sulfur on the surface after core aeration ensures nutrients penetrate deeper into the root zone.
- Core aeration makes overseeding more effective: Core aerating the yard before and after seeding cultivates the soil which enhances contact between seedling and topsoil and creates a moist, protected environment optimal for germination (seed turning into the grass).
- Core aeration prepares your lawn for the winter, spring, and summer: Aerating in the late fall (prior to the first frost) before dropping fertilizer and lime ensures the roots have deeper uptake of nutrients. Winter’s freezing and spring’s thawing helps work the lime into the soil. Thorough all-season care provides cool-season grasses with enough of a buffer to withstand the stress of summer droughts.
The Process of Core Aeration
Core aeration entails pulling up cylindrical cores of soil approximately 5/8 inch in diameter and 1-3 inches long using an aerator machine. This displaced soil contains microorganisms that consume thatch. The soil cores can be broken down into your yard naturally by irrigation, rainfall, or mechanically by your lawnmower.
Contact Big League Lawns for Lawn Aeration Services in Utah
Schedule a lawn aeration service with Big League Lawns and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, healthy yard.