Lawn and Order – The Lawn Care Guide
As autumn hits, now is the best time to prepare your lawn for its winter hibernation. It is starting to get darker earlier, and soon you'll be wanting to wrap up in warmth and comfort of your home. But not to worry, there is still some time for you to give your lawn that much-needed attention before winter fully sets in. This chilly damp weather may not be the most welcome after a lovely summer, but it is great news for autumn lawn renovations!
Mother nature is already watering your lawn for you, so that's one less thing for you to do! The rest of the to-do list is below, and likely a much smaller list than you first thought...
How does it work?
Aeration is the process of spiking holes into the soil which in turn allows air, water and nutrients into the soil to reach the grassroots. These holes created are around 2-3 inches deep.
Why should you aerate?
The professional cam-driven aerator machine alleviates compacted soil by agitating the ground at it spikes holes into it. Compacted soil stops air, water and nutrients being circulated throughout the soil properly.
Before aeration, the soil is often compacted and the roots are short. Within 8-10 weeks, the roots will be deeper and wider, allowing for thicker, healthier grass growth.
When should you aerate the lawn?
We can carry out an Aeration all year round as long as the ground is not too soft or frozen. We offer winter as well as summer aerations, or you can order one as part of our Lawn Improver or Total Reseed service. These packages are offered from mid-August to the end of October/early November.
Aeration in the winter compared to the summer is completed for different reasons:
Aerating in the summer will help decompact the soil after summer usage as well as make the most of any rainfall/watering by reducing surface run-off.
Aerating in the winter months helps reduce surface moisture, therefore reducing the chance of moss spread and lawn diseases. As the ground softens over the winter months, the earth can compact. This can then cause grass health issues come the spring if the compaction is not alleviated.
How does it work?
We use a piece of machinery that is often described as a vertical lawnmower. The scarifier that we use cuts vertically into the lawn which drags moss and thatch out of the lawn.
What is lawn thatch?
Thatch in your lawn is a layer of organic matter made up of dead material. This dead matter can be slow to decay and becomes a spongy layer under your grass. Thatch build-up is natural in lawns and is not problematic unless the thatch layer gets too thick. Your thatch layer is too thick if it is 15mm or thicker. To find this out, you can cut a small core out of the lawn to give you a profile of the grass, roots, thatch and soil layers. Once measured, you can pop this core back into its original place and the lawn will carry on as it was.
With this natural thatch build-up, we advise periodic scarification in order to keep the layer reduced. For best results, we advise having a double-pass scarification at least every 1-3 years (dependent upon the environmental conditions your lawn is under). Please ask your expert Lawn Technician for bespoke advice on your lawn.
Why should I have my lawn scarified?
Scarification improves shoot and root growth in your lawn. The treatment also allows a greater flow of air, water and nutrients. This treatment results in new growth and a healthier and lusher looking lawn.
When should I have my lawn scarified?
Scarification is carried out during late summer and into the autumn months (generally mid-August to early November). These months generally provide a nice ambient temperature and enough rainfall to ensure a good recovery post-scarification. Additionally, the grass is still growing at this point which means the heavy process of the scarification on the lawn will not leave the soil and lawn exposed to the elements during winter.
For more information on the scarification services we offer, please click here for our Lawn Improver and here for our Total Reseed options.
Identifying thatch and if it is problematic-
When you walk on your lawn, does it feel spongy or soft? When you look at the edges of your lawn, is there a thick layer of brown, spongy material? If this is the case, you likely have a thick layer of thatch that is restricting the movement of water, air and nutrients in your lawn, depriving your lawn of growth.
The science behind it all
Soil is typically made of 50% pore space and 50% solids. This pore space is needed for water and oxygen movement in the soil. However, when this pore space is reduced by soil compaction, your lawn will suffer due to the lack of nutrients it is receiving. When the pore space is reduced, even by 10%, the grass grows slower and will grow quite short. After time, your lawn will become thin, which is a better environment for weeds, algae and moss to grow.
Scarification removes organic matter that lays at the base of the grass plant. Once the debris has been cleared from the base of the grass plant, the idea is to get grass to grow in this newfound space through a regular mowing regime. This, along with the aeration, will promote new grass growth and the grass will be thicker and lusher.
What happens next?
After your lawn is scarified and aerated, it is important to maintain and look after your lawn. As you carry on with regular treatments throughout the season, this renovation work will improve the effectivity of your weed and feeds and your moss treatments throughout the year.
Renovation work on your lawn, alongside your regular lawn care treatments, will prepare your lawn for the colder winter months as well as getting it ready for the coming spring.
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