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Lawn Service: Core Aeration

Posted on: March 22nd, 2017

Lawn services, such as a core aeration, has numerous benefits – which will help ensure you’ll have a healthy, thick lawn throughout the optimal growing season. Not only that, but core aeration is also a foundational cultural practice of proper, long-term lawn care in Colorado.

What is it about core aeration that makes it such a critical cultural practice? A basic list of benefits includes increased air and water percolation, alleviation of compaction, and an improved environment for beneficial soil microbes.

Wise lawn managers have known for many years that core lawn aeration is absolutely necessary if one desires a thick, healthy lawn in Colorado. Thick and strong lawns have a deeper root system, can withstand drought more readily, and prevents weed seeds from germinating.

A close look at healthy soils reveals a complex web of life. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are constantly working to break down organic matter into usable forms of nitrogen.

There are pathogens and beneficial soil organisms that work in tandem with plant roots to absorb nutrients from the soil. If there is a healthy balance between beneficial soil organisms and pathogens, we usually do not notice anything amiss. When soils are under anaerobic conditions, pathogens begin to out-number beneficial soil organisms and we begin to see early manifestations of disease activity.

Regular core aeration maintains oxygen levels in the root-zone. This is the primary benefit of aeration. Foot traffic and compaction from machinery, such as lawn mowers, tend to compact our heavy clay soils leading to anaerobic soil conditions.

Colorado has many bright, sunny days, however we also have exceptionally low humidity – meaning water tends to evaporate very quickly.

Since water is a valuable and precious resource, proper utilization is paramount. When we water, we hope it goes where we want it to and stays there as long as possible. Most Colorado landscapes are not flat. We have hilly areas in most of our landscapes. Aeration helps water go where we want it to go: down into the soil.

When we fertilize, we also want that to go into the soil – aeration helps us accomplish that as well. Thick, healthy lawns have deep roots and will out-compete weeds for sunlight and prevent them from germinating.

Sadly, many of our larger lawn areas are over-watered and not aerated enough. If we establish a good foundation, mow at proper cutting heights with sharp mower blades, and fertilize regularly, we can reduce the amount of water we waste when watering.

In Colorado, it is recommended to aerate twice a year (once in the spring and once in the fall).

An early spring aeration is critical, as root growth tends to accelerate during this time of year. Lawns also grow very quickly from April through June, and need oxygen and nutrients, which aeration helps with.

Having your lawn aerated in the fall is the perfect way to allow your lawn to breathe, while opening it up to receive needed fertilizer and moisture in the cooler months.

The ultimate goal of aeration is to help us utilize water more wisely and use less chemical weed controls.

 

 

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