It’s hard to tell to the naked eye, but there’s a lot more going on underneath the surface of your lawn than first appears. It’s a complicated relationship between grass, soil, and the oxygen in the air. In order forFore healthy, oxygen has to get down to the grassroots, traveling through pockets in the soil. In addition to oxygen, however, water and other nutrients from lawn fertilizer also travel deep into the soil through these pockets. As a result, your serene lawn is a complicated ecosystem.
As a result, unhealthy lawns are often a result of soil beneath the grass that is now compacted, which keeps oxygen, water, and nutrients from flowing down to the roots. Your soil may now also be crowned with a thick layer of thatch, rendering it even more impervious.
Soil compaction is particularly a problem in Oklahoma, where the red dirt we’re famous for can create a host of problems for homeowners. Dense soils, with high clay content, don’t drain very well; additionally, this soil can turn soggy when wet — or worse, rock hard – when it dries out. Clay also tends to be more acidic, which can be tough on grass and plants. If clay soil is too compact, your lawn can become more prone to disease, weeds, and insects.
Have no fear, however – homeowners can restore their lawns to their former glory through a process called core aeration.
Core aeration is a type of lawn aeration that reduces compaction by removing soil and thatch, the chief culprits of soil compaction, from a lawn. Core aeration clears those pockets and allows oxygen, water, and nutrients to once again penetrate the soil.
There are several ways to aerate a lawn. Some lawn aerators drive solid tines into the earth. Likewise, you could plunge a pitchfork into the grass every few square inches. Some homeowners even resort to the time-honored “golf spikes” approach. These processes however are neither precise nor specific; oftentimes they are also unrealistic. (How many homeowners have a pitchfork lying around?) Also, simply driving spikes into your lawn can make the soil compaction problems many Oklahoma lawns face even worse.
The optimal technique for Oklahoma’s heavy clay soils is core lawn aeration. With core aeration, specialized equipment mechanically removes small plugs of soil and thatch from around your yard, creating holes of a significant diameter: 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. As a result, homeowners can hire companies that specialize in lawn care to bring out their equipment to clear the property of plugs and clogs, and then drive precise holes into the soil for maximum care. It may sound excessive, but the reality is that Oklahoma surfaces require specialized attention.
For cool-season grasses, perform core aeration in early fall. For warm-season grasses, the time generally recommended for core aeration is mid-spring to early summer. No matter the time of year, however, GreenPro is happy to work with clients to figure out the best way to aerate your lawn. Give us a call today; we’ll get your lawn healthy again!