There’s no doubt that this summer has been brutal in Kansas City. As of mid-July we’re down 11 inches of rainfall and unless you’ve been watering regularly you can hear your poor grass crunch underfoot.
So how can you get your lawn healthy again in time for our lovely and very cold Kansas City winter?
One step that’s vital is aerating your lawn. Aeration is the process of making holes in your lawn either with a rod or by coring, which is the extraction of a plug of soil.
Aeration can benefit your lawn in a number of ways:
It allows oxygen to reach the roots of your lawn, letting it “breathe”.
It lets fertilizer and nutrients reach the root system of your grass.
Water can reach and penetrate the soil and boy, will your lawn be grateful for that.
Tight, compacted soil is broken up and so is any thatch that has formed during the summer.
Aerating should be done in the fall as your grass begins to spend its energy toward root growth rather than blade growth. Before aerating give your lawn a thorough watering to prevent damaging your turf. A moist lawn is easier to draw cores from than a hard, parched yard.
Aerating your soil can be done a couple of ways; basically the hard way and the easy way.
The hard way involves using a manual aerator which is a tool with 2 or 4 hollow cylinders much like a shovel that you work into the soil with your foot to extract plugs of soil. Another tool may have 2 or 4 spikes that don’t remove soil but make holes in the ground, not nearly as good for the soil and lawn but much less labor intensive.
A power aerator is a good tool for a larger lawn and comes in coring as well as the spike version. The coring variety is preferred but this can be a bit of a monster and needs some muscle to operate. Not for the faint hearted but much better for your grass. It’s a good idea to have a manual aerator on hand as a power aerator can damage the roots of trees. Use the manual aerator around the drip line and close to the tree.
When you’re finished it may look like grubs and moles had a party but it will look much better as your lawn is now much happier. Don’t remove the cores as they’ll soon disintegrate and be absorbed back into your grass.
Aerating can be a big job and if you don’t start soon into fall you can miss your window. This is where your friends at Olympic Lawn and Landscape can help. Aerating is just part of our turf renovation services. We can aerate your lawn while you relax and when we’re gone your lawn may just reward your with lush and happy growth next spring. But don’t wait until it’s too late. Book your appointment early as we fill up quickly!