How to Maintain a Pristine Looking Lawn
Aeration is a natural process wherein air gets exchanged between the soil and the atmosphere in the pockets that surround it. In many private lawns, soil is compacted due to being subjected to extensive use. This causes the air exchange to become restricted. Consequently, the soil is placed under undue stress, reducing its ability to benefit root growth. The solution to this is a mechanical process known as lawn aeration.
We talked with Bryan a lawn aerator from Oz Aeration about how and why mechanical aeration is hugely beneficial to maintaining a pristine lawn. As one of the first companies in Australia to offer the service of aerating lawns, mainly in Brisbane and Sydney; their team have a huge wealth of knowledge and experience working with grass grown in Australia’s climate conditions.
In lawn aeration, small patches of compacted soil are removed. This allows the remaining soil found underneath to readily get the needed nutrients from the environment. Specifically, air gets to move freely all across the lawn once the small patches are removed.
Many homes suffer from compacted soil as a byproduct of the construction there when the homes are built. During this period, fertile topsoil often has to be either buried or removed in order to give way to the building of the house foundation. This brings to the surface subsoil characterized by its compactness and heavy clay content.
Obviously, this is not the best type of soil needed to grow a healthy and green lawn. Certain grass types like turf, for instance, require good soil in order to have healthy roots. This is where aerating any grass may become necessary for pristine looking, healthy, dark green coverage.
Another major problem that home lawns have to contend with is the build-up of thatch in the area. This usually occurs in lawns where Bermuda grass is being grown. A thatch can be described as material composed of layers of dead and living plant roots, stems, and leaves that have accumulated over the course of time between an active lawn grass and its soil host.
A thatch is not necessarily a bad thing since it does allow lawn grass to become more resilient especially when subjected to heavy human actions like mowing, walking, playing, and the like. However, if it becomes too thick, a thatch can impede the movement of fertilizer, water, and air within the vast expanse of the lawn.
In the summer months, if a thatch is allowed to remain in the grassed area, the turf will have a difficult time dealing with the possibility of drought. This is because it has not been able to store up on the needed nutrients to allow it to withstand the heat during summer.
On the other hand, moist thatch, a familiar scene during the wet season, is an ideal shelter for fungi which can cause diseases harmful to lawn grass. In a worst case scenario, infestation can develop and bring untimely death to turf that has been weakened by diseases previously.
For this reason, it is essential that mechanical grass aeration is performed regularly. The general recommendation is to have this done annually. However, the frequency of work will also depend on several factors. For example, lawns that are mowed several times or are used often as a playground for children may require aerating more than once in a given year.
The timing of the aeration also has to be considered. Generally though, lawn aeration performed either during spring or autumn is considered ideal as the roots tend to be more responsive to growth efforts being introduced soon after the aeration is completed.