Summertime here in Maryland can take its toll on your lawn. With the added foot traffic from playing kids and dogs as well as the regular mowing and the stress from heat and lack of rain, lawn’s are begging for a little TLC right about now. Now that we’re approaching the end of Summer and early Fall, it’s time to consider lawn restoration so you can help set your lawn up for success next year. Investing in lawn restoration now will save you time and money come Springtime.
Thatch and Soil Compaction
The increased foot and lawnmower traffic of Summer can have a significant impact on the quality of soil in your lawn. Between playing kids, outdoor gatherings, and regular mowing, combined with the heat and lack of rain, your yard ready for a refresh.
Compacted soil is one of the most common issues facing lawns at the end of the Summer. If your lawn’s soil is hard and compacted, the roots of your grass won’t have easy access to air, water, or the nutrients that it needs to survive.
Symptoms of soil compaction include:
- Soil that is too hard for a screwdriver to be driven into.
- Pooling water.
- Water run-off during irrigation or a rainstorm.
- Bare patches in your grass where even weeds are struggling to grow.
Another threat to the health of your lawn is having too much thatch. Thatch is the organic material and grass clippings found just above the soil, at the base of your grass blades. A thin layer of thatch (less than ½ inch) is healthy for any lawn as it can insulate the soil and help retain moisture during a drought. However, if your layer of thatch is too thick, then your grass will begin to decline.
Checking if your thatch is too thick is as easy as walking out on your lawn. If you feel spongy areas on your grass then you may have a thatch problem. For a more exact test, you can stick a screwdriver through the thatch and measure the thickness that way. If it’s thicker half an inch, then your lawn needs help.
If your lawn has compacted soil, too much thatch, or both, then aeration is the answer for you. Aerating your lawn eliminates soil compaction and reduces thatch buildup in your yard. This allows your lawn to breathe and absorb the water and nutrients that it needs, boosting the health and look of your grass.
What is aeration?
Aeration, or core aeration, is the process of pulling thousands of plugs of compacted soil out of your lawn and depositing them back on top of your grass. This is done with specialized aerator machines and equipment.
What are some of the benefits of aeration?
Aerating your lawn will immediately increase circulation of air, water, and nutrients down to your grass roots. It will open up the soil to allow your grass roots to spread out, reaching deeper into the soil and strengthening your grass. Water is easily absorbed after aeration as well as the nutrients that you may use on your lawn on your own or through a lawn care program. Better air circulation, deeper roots, and better absorption of water and nutrients will make your lawn stronger and more drought-resistant.
When is the best time to aerate my lawn?
So, when is the best time to aerate a lawn? This depends on where you live and what types of grass make up your lawn. Aeration is best performed during the growing season to allow your lawn time to recover before going into dormancy.
Here in Maryland, our cool-season grasses grow during the Spring and Fall. This means that aeration is best done in the early Fall, around August or September. The growing season for warm-season grasses is during the Spring and Summer, so it would be best to aerate warm-season grasses during the early Summer.
Another essential step to Summer lawn restoration is overseeding, and this goes hand-in-hand with aeration. Overseeding is the method of spreading new grass seed over an already established yard. Overseeding is done to fill in gaps and bare or thin patches of grass.
The best type of grass to use here in Maryland is tall fescue.
The benefits of overseeding include:
Thicker, fuller grass.
Resistance to pests.
Disease and fungus resistance.
Better drought resistance.
Lawn Composting/Top Dressing
To finish off your lawn restoration services, consider lawn composting or top dressing. Utilizing a natural compost top dressing on a recently aerated and overseeded lawn will set your lawn up for success. The nutrient and microorganism packed compost will cover your newly seeded areas. This provides the seeds with the cover they need for protection and the nutrients they need for fast growth. These Summer lawn restoration techniques will help take your lawn into the Fall and Winter with optimal health.
Call in the Professionals
If you want to take the guesswork out of lawn restoration, call the professionals at On The Green, Inc. Here at On The Green, Inc., we have the premium Summer lawn renovation services that you’re looking for. From aeration and overseeding to composting and top dressing services, we can help get your lawn ready to take on the Winter and bounce back next Spring.