Summer is here whether we want it to be or not. It is the time of year when you are driving around you cant help but notice other peoples lawns. Some look very green and nice, while others look drab patchy and brown. More often than not anymore the very green ones are unfortunately chemical induced. Not all of the patchy browns one can be fixed with fertilizer. Some just have the wrong type of grass for the location . The Bermuda that was originally planted may have done great until the trees in the yard began to fill out and produce more shade than the Bermuda could handle. Others lawns just need some TLC, and aerating is a great start, especially with all of the clay our Ozark soil has. Here are a few more tips about grass types and growing them in the Ozarks. Zoysia is one of our favorites (Best Grass to Grow in the Ozarks).
Our lawn is looking a little brown and patchy this year. (our dogs don’t help Tips for a More Dog Friendly Yard ). So topping my to-do list is fertilizing the lawn and thinking of anything I can do to get the lush lawn that always seems just out of reach here in Northwest Arkansas.
Before we fertilize this year we are going to start with aeration. This will help break up the hard clay soil that plagues NWA. It will allow the grass roots to not only receive more air and water but will help the fertilizer that we apply permeate to the root network better. (Promoting root growth) This will allow our fertilizer to do its job instead of just running off during rain or when we water.
Some aeration occurs naturally from plants that have a tap roots such as dandelions. If you or a POA aren’t a fan of dandelions and/or other types of plants that are classified as weeds, manual aeration is an alternative. Sometimes nature needs a helping hand.
Benefits of Aeration
- Loosens compacted soil
- Allows nutrients to be absorbed more efficiently
- More air and water reaches the roots for better growth
- Unbinding the roots to promote healthier growth
When Should Aeration be Performed
It is best to aerate a lawn during the growing season. Early Spring is one of the best times. Doing it before fertilizing is also a good idea. Once a year is enough for most lawns but in some situations twice may be more beneficial. Lawns that have a high clay content and areas that have high traffic may need extra attention.
Lawns that have been aerated will need some extra water for a few weeks afterward. We also suggest fertilizing to help encourage and maintain the new growth. Having terrible soil doesn’t have to keep us from having a thick lush green lawn to walk on.
Fertilizing and aerating a lawn is in a lot of ways the same as re-potting a houseplant. If a plant is left in the same pot for too long it depletes the nutrients in the soil it has and becomes root bound. Lets treat our lawns to a little TLC and help give them the water, air and nutrients that their roots need to continue thriving, with out a lot of harsh chemicals.
After all of that we are going to over-seed the lawn and give it plenty of water. By the end of summer hopefully our lawn will be full and green for next spring. Lawn care may seem like a never ending battle but some small steps throughout the year can help it take care of its self in a few seasons.