Does this sound familiar: you’ve started watering and fertilizing your lawn, but it’s still drab-looking? If you answered “yes,” it could mean that it’s time for an aeration treatment. This common lawn service is ideally performed in the fall or spring and can play a major role in the overall health of your lawn.
Aeration: The Key To Lawn Maintenance
What Is Core Aeration
Aeration, also known as core aeration, is a common practice in the lawn care industry. Using a specialized tool called an aerator, your lawn care technician will remove tiny plugs of soil. These plugs won’t impact the structure of your lawn, as they are quite small. The machine distributes these plugs across the surface of the lawn so that they can break down and mulch the grass. By opening up hundreds or thousands of these small holes, air, sunlight, water, and other essential nutrients can once again get down into the roots. Further, aeration will even help break up the thatch throughout your lawn.
What Is Thatch
Thatch is the term for any dead organic material in your lawn. Most commonly, it’s dead blades of grass, but it could include other things like tree leaves. Having some thatch in your lawn is natural and not the end of the world. The problem arises when thatch becomes thicker than the living grass. In basic terms, this dense layer of thatch can smother your lawn. And it can increase soil compaction.
When You Should Aerate Your Lawn In South Dakota
Spring aeration is advisable because your grass is starting its growing cycle. If your soil is too compacted, it’s difficult for that growth to begin, however. By performing aeration now, you can rest easy knowing that any underlying thatch or compacted soil will be broken up. Many homeowners choose to skip spring aeration, believing it’s not necessary, only to discover their lawn is in trouble a month or two down the road.
What Is Compacted Soil
Compacted soil means that your soil is hard and compressed. It’s common to have this happen after a harsh Dakota winter, which is why we recommend aeration in spring. Compacted soil can create a variety of problems. There are several ways soil can become compacted. Like thatch, it’s something that happens over time, but certain factors can speed things up.
Heavy Foot Traffic
If the only traffic your lawn sees is the postal worker or delivery person, you won’t have to worry. If, however, you have children, dogs, or other animals frequently tearing across your lawn, this will increase the rate of soil compaction. If you have a riding lawn mower, this extra weight could increase the compaction rate.
Leaving Heavy Objects On Your Grass
If you leave things like lawn care tools, a motorcycle, or any other heavy objects on your soil, this can increase compaction over time.
If your land has clay-heavy soil, your yard will be more prone to compaction.
Why Is Compacted Soil Bad
Like having excess thatch, too much compaction can decrease the ability for air, water, and nutrients to reach your grass’ roots. And the roots themselves won’t be able to expand properly. If you’ve ever opened a bag of topsoil, you’ll notice how loose and fluffy the dirt is. This is the ideal kind of soil for your grass. The roots need to be able to move through it and cling to it, or the grass will pull up easily. When soil is hardened and compacted, the roots are trapped.
Symptoms Of Compacted Soil
There are several ways to know if you are experiencing compacted soil.
After rainfall, or after watering, do you notice that the water just sits on the surface of the soil? If so, this could be because the soil is too hard to allow the water to seep down.
If the water doesn’t pool on the surface, you may notice that it runs off and creates your own personal stream when you water or during a rainfall – another indicator that compacted soil is the culprit.
Thinning Or Dead Grass
As you can imagine, when grass can’t absorb the things it needs to grow, it will begin to thin out and die. Now, there could be many reasons that grass thins or dies out, not just soil compaction. Grubs and lawn diseases are another common cause of thinning grass. However, if you notice this and the other things we’ve discussed, the combination could indicate compacted soil.
You Can’t Dig In The Soil
Sometimes compacted soil is so tough that you won’t be able to break the surface – even with the help of a shovel.
Find Aeration Service Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The experts at Eagle Lawn & Landscape Inc. have serviced hundreds of lawns in the Sioux Falls area for over 23 years. We know this terrain like the back of our hand and what that turf needs as the seasons change. Our lawn aeration program breaks up compacted soil so your turf can restore its oxygen, water, and nutrient levels. We also offer a 5-step lawn care program to nourish your lawn all year long. To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call at 605-366-1111 or leave us a message online! Don’t forget to check out our monthly blog to learn more about lawn care and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest deals and special offers!