Does your front of house live up to scrutiny?

Caring for your Lawn

First impressions really matter and it could take a matter of seconds to form a good impression or a detrimental one.  What does the frontage of your property say about your business?

If you thought Lawn Care meant bringing out the lawn mover and cutting the grass 2-3 times a week, then think again.  It takes a little love and a lot of care to achieve a good, healthy, lush green lawn.

There are 4 essential steps to achieving this:

  1. Aerating the lawn
  2. Scarifying the lawn
  3. Periodic lawn feeds
  4. Routine grass cutting

In this first installment, I’m going to talk about Aeration

Aeration, in simple terms,  essentially means allowing the lawn to ‘BREATHE’.
Just imaging doing a Yoga Class or deep breathing exercises, taking deep in/out breaths through the abdomen to create space between your internal organs.  By creating deep holes in the lawn, aerating creates space in the soil to let the gasses out (carbon dioxide), and the fresh air in (oxygen) which stimulates mircro bacterial activity.

Aeration is necessary because certain natural environmental elements can cause the lawn to become either waterlogged during heavy rain or very dry during hot summer months.  This is especially so in heavy clay areas which are slow to absorb water.  Grass becomes covered in moss and possibly a thick layer of ‘thatch’ (see below) may begin to form.  All of these can conspire to inhibit root growth.

Aerating the lawn stimulates and encourages growth by allowing rain water to reach the roots and improve drainage.  The deep holes that are created as part of the aerating process allow the soil to breathe, promoting roots to grow deeper, therefore encouraging growth of healthy green grass.

Aerating also relieves ‘compaction’ (see explanation below) on heavy use areas.  Compaction prevents the grass roots from absorbing the air, water and nutrients. No air means no sustenance for the roots.

Aeration can be done by using special aerating equipment or standard garden forks.  The method used depends on the nature of the problem and the size of the lawn.

Aeration should be carried out  where signs of dry brown patches on the lawn are indicative of the grass roots lacking in water and nutrients.  This usually occurs during the dry summer months when more water evaporates the ground than can be absorbed.

Clay soil areas and slopping ground are also good areas for aeration where water either puddles on top after the lawn is watered or runs off rather than being absorbed into the soil.

Other problem ares are water logged ground where better drainage improvement is required.

The best time to aerate the lawn is when the soil is moist, usually during Spring and early Summer or Autumn months.  It is not advisable to aerate the lawn during heavy rain fall or very hot periods when heavy dry soil will make aerating difficult.

It is usually sufficient to aerate the lawn once a year.

Overseeding after aeration on dry patches would be advisable, preferably early in the season to allow the seeds to take route and germinate, creating a uniform appearance.

Fertilization may not always be necessary but this depends on the overall condition of the lawn before and after it is aerated.

A brief explanation of terminology and frequently asked questions

Compaction can be seen in heavy use areas where the lawn gets trampled over or where there is water logged grass or heavy covering of moss on top of the grass. Compaction prevents the grass roots from absorbing the air, water and nutrients. No air means no sustenance for the roots.

Thatch is a tight and spongy layer of dead stems, leaves and roots which form between the layers of actively growing grass and soil.  A deep layer of thatch will dry out easily and restrict the absorption of air, water and nutrients by the grass roots.

Is watering the lawn not sufficient? It really depends on what the condition of the lawn is.  If there is a build up of moss or thatch than it is better to aerate the lawn, for the reasons explained above.

What happens to the holes left in the lawn after aeration? They will eventually disappear.

Watch out for my next installment on Lawn Care:  ‘Scarifying’

In the meantime, if you have any questions or require advice about caring for your lawn than drop Bandon Services a note to info@bandonservices.co.uk or call 01582 580490

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Posted in Lawn Care

Glenn O'Brien
Managing Director Bandon Services

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