People question whether or not these techniques are necessary in the healthy life of a lawn. Here’s some more information for you to help with your decision whether or not to proceed.
Why aerate? Unfortunately you can’t dig up you lawn every spring and fall to improve the soil like you can your garden bed. However, there is a machine called an aerator which takes soil “ plugs” out of the sod. By doing this we can reduce oil compaction around the root zone of the grass and slow oxygen, water and nutrients to get down were it is most beneficial. Aerations improves plant health by allowing the roots to grow deeper in the soil. A deep root system enables the grass to withstand hot summer weather and harsh cold winters. Improved air circulation increases the microbial activity and thatch breaks down much faster lessening the chance of disease. We recommend that you aerate you lawn once a year, in either spring or fall.
Overseeding. Over time lawns can become thin due to various stressors such as insects, compaction and improper maintenance. Lawns grown from sod are usually made up mostly of bluegrass blends of grass. We recommend that you upgrade you lawn by adding pest and disease resistant varieties of grasses. New varieties of rye grasses contain naturally occurring endophytes which resist disease and some pests such as sod webworms and chinch bugs. Any lawn can benefit from occasionally adding new strains of more desirable grasses. A thick, healthy lawn is also the best defence against weed infestations.
Lawn diseases occur due to certain weather conditions such as a wet, cool spring followed by a hot summer. Sometimes the reasons are due to improper watering and cutting practices, or a thatch build up. Names of the most common lawn diseases are:
- Necrotic Ring Spot ( Frogs Eye)
- Powdery Mildew
- Fairy Ring
- Leaf Spot
- Rust on Perennial Rye grass
- Dollar spot
- and Snow Mold
Most diseases can be brought back under control by changing the conditions of the lawn:
- Aeration can help breakdown thatch as well as improve circulation of air around the root are of the grass
- If the area is very shady, pruning of some of the tree branches may be necessary.
- Water only 1X per week ( 2X in sandy soil) in the morning only NOT in the evening.
- Make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp and don’t cut off too much of the grass at a time. Cut the lawn leaving no less than 2 ½ – 3 inches of grass blade.
- Over seed with disease resistant grass types.