You fertilize, seed, mow, and water, yet nothing you do seems to improve the look of your lawn. Your problem might be that your lawn needs core aeration.
Our lawns in Houston, TX, face blazing hot summers and cold winters. Then, we expect it to grow green and lush. Core aeration can help you revitalize your lawn.
What Is Core Aeration for Lawns?
Over time, the soil your lawn grows in becomes compacted, making growth difficult. Core aeration, the process of removing cores or plugs throughout your property, creates space for your lawn to grow.
Each core is about two to six inches deep into the soil. The depth and frequency of the cores will depend on the condition of your lawn and soil.
A lawn service can perform core aeration for you with a specialized machine. It resembles a lawn mower but has several spikes that pierce the ground and create the cores. This ensures you have even coverage while not damaging the overall root structure.
How Does the Soil Get Compacted?
Texas coastal soil is a mixture of clay, sand, and slit. This mix makes the soil prone to compacting.
Add in the daily activities of pets playing, heavy rain, and foot traffic, and you can see how your lawn’s soil becomes more compact over time.
Signs That Your Lawn Needs to be Aerated
The changing seasons can be a signal you need to aerate your lawn. Ideally, you perform core aeration right before or at the beginning of the lawn’s growing season. That way, you prepare your soil for the lawn’s growing season.
Another sign your lawn needs aeration is discoloration, dry patches, or dead grass. This could indicate your lawn is not getting the nutrients it needs.
Puddles are another sign your lawn needs aeration. Constant puddles mean the water cannot drain through the soil to reach the roots.
Finally, you can perform the screwdriver test. Take a screwdriver and stick it into your lawn. You don’t need aeration if you can easily insert the screwdriver two to four inches deep. However, you likely need aeration if you struggle or can’t get the screwdriver to go in.
Types of Grass That Need Aeration
While all grass types benefit from turf management, they don’t all benefit from core aeration. Warm-season grasses, however, benefit from core aeration. These include Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia grasses.
Luckily, these are the best grasses for growing in Texas.
Benefits of Aeration
Core aeration helps your lawn grow better. Pulling cores from your lawn reduces the amount of compacted soil, creating more space and helping the soil break up.
Improved Air Circulation
The empty core holes significantly increase the amount of air circulation in the soil. Your lawn’s roots need oxygen, and when the soil is compacted, the roots struggle to get it.
The roots will stay shallow to get what little oxygen they can near the surface. Core aeration brings the oxygen down, encouraging the roots to grow deeper.
Improved Nutrient Absorption
You may have a nutrient absorption issue if your lawn looks patchy with lush spots and bar spots. Core aeration can address this because creating open pathways for the nutrients to get into the soil.
This makes your fertilization efforts more effective by getting nutrients into the soil. It also breaks up the compacted soil, making it easier for the roots to grow deeper. That way, the roots can access the deeper nutrients already in the soil.
Reduced Thatch Buildup
Underneath your lawn is a layer of thatch. It is a dead layer of organic matter or dead grass on top of the soil. You need a certain amount of thatch to have a healthy lawn.
However, when the thatch layer becomes too thick or compacted, it can harm your lawn. A dense thatch layer can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the soil for the roots to absorb.
Having a professional lawn care service core aerate your lawn can address this.
Core aeration also makes it easier for microbes to access the thatch layer. This helps improve the decomposition process of the thatch layer. This improves the long-term health of your lawn by releasing the thatch layer nutrients into the soil.
Better Climate Resilience
Texas summers are brutal on lawns. Long hours of direct sun exposure and high temperatures can push lawns into dormancy, causing them to turn brown.
Core aeration helps strengthen your lawn, making it more resilient to the harsh seasonal climate changes.
Greater nutrient absorption results in strong grass. Deeper roots create a stronger foundation.
Improve Water Management
Core creation creates paths for pooling water to flow. This reduces the amount of standing water on your lawn.
In addition, core aeration can address fast water runoff. When soil becomes compacted, water cannot penetrate. Instead of absorbing into the soil, it flows right off and away.
All of the time you spend watering your lawn is a waste. Core aeration is beneficial because it allows the water to absorb down and into the soil rather than running off. This makes your watering efforts more effective.
When Is the Best Time for Core Aeration?
The best time of year to aerate your lawn will depend on your lawn type. The ideal time to perform core aeration is before the lawn’s growing season.
Warm-season grasses actively grow from June through September. So core aeration should happen in the spring. These are warm-season grasses:
- St. Augustine
Bermuda and Zoysia grow well in Texas. Because they thrive in warm weather, they will survive the hot summers, and you don’t have to worry about overseeding a lawn.
Because these grasses grow from rhizomes, they do not benefit from aeration and seeding.
Revitalize Your Lawn
If your lawn isn’t as beautiful as you want, you may need professional lawn maintenance. One essential part of this turf care is core aeration. Hiring professionals like the team at Coastal Greencan can give your lawn the support it needs to grow lush and green.
Have a beautiful, lush lawn again with expert turf maintenance from Coastal Green.
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