It’s fall in Michigan, and time to start thinking about Halloween decorations, costumes, hayrides, (socially distanced of course), carving pumpkins, and fall foliage. But just because the temperatures are cooler and the days shorter doesn’t mean it’s time to neglect your lawn. Fall is the perfect time to assess the damage caused by the stress of summer. It’s also the ideal time to rejuvenate any grass that has been damaged over the last few months. Summer heat, drought, and excessive wear and tear can cause compacted soil on even the most well-maintained lawns. Take a look, does your grass have bare, patchy areas, or look tired or drought-ridden? Read on to learn more about compacted soil and what exactly you can do about it.
Compacted soil is basically a build-up of thatch, which is a layer of grass clippings and organic matter that forms a barrier at the base of your grass. This layer reduces the amount of water, oxygen, and vital nutrients able to reach your grassroots. It also prevents proper drainage. Cutting off this essential supply to your grassroots will cause your turf to become malnourished, dehydrated, and sometimes even oversaturated. Weakening over time, it will die.
It is a result of compacted pores caused by an applied force. This applied force is the result of heavy machineries such as farm tractors, automobiles, and lawnmowers. Excessive foot traffic and overuse from just playing in your backyard during the summer can cause compacted soil. Many of us canceled vacations and trips this year and spent most of our time off enjoying staycations at home and in our backyards. All of this fun, while worth it, may have exhausted your lawn. But never fear, there is a solution. First, let’s discuss how to determine what’s going on with your lawn.
The best way to tell if you have compacted soil is through the age-old screwdriver test. Take a screwdriver or a hard stick you have lying around and jam it into the ground. If it’s dry and does not easily penetrate your dirt, you probably have compacted soil.
A process called core aeration can help alleviate thatch and poke holes in your yard to allow water, oxygen, and essential nutrients such as fertilizers back in. Core aeration is basically the process of perforating small holes in your soil and pulling up hundreds of tiny plugs to redistribute the turf across your lawn. This can be done with the use of special boots or with a sharp stick. For much better results, we recommend using a professional company such as the pros at Custom Lawn Care, who specialize in this kind of technique.
Aerating a lawn should be done once a year or at least, once every other year. It should only be done during the growing season, as this will allow your lawn to recover quickly after the service. Due to the cool-season grasses, we have here in Michigan, Custom Lawn Care recommends core aeration during the fall. This is because 85% of your grass root growth takes place during this time. Cool, warm temperatures combined with warm soil temperatures make the perfect environment for your lawn’s recovery. You can expect your grass to become more resistant to drought, insects, and lawn disease eight to ten weeks after your core aeration service is performed.
Don’t wait too long! Old man winter is right around the corner, and you want your lawn to be robust and in shape before it arrives. Contact Custom Lawn Care now and get more information on our aeration services. You can reach us by phone at 800-570-3313 or contact us right here online. Learn more about us through our social media accounts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, like us on Pinterest.
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