A great way to set your lawn up for success next season is aeration. The purpose of aeration is to help the roots of your grass grow deeper to produce a stronger and healthier lawn. Fall is the optimal time to aerate your lawn, and you have two options to choose from— liquid aeration versus core aeration. But what’s the difference between the two?
Core aeration is pulling thousands of plugs of soil from your lawn and mechanically opening up the soil to allow water and nutrients to penetrate deep into the root system of the turf. This will usually pull up plugs about three inches deep, only addressing a small portion of the soil surface and leaving 80 percent of the soil undisturbed. Aeration holes need to be spaced properly and uniformly in depth. The holes made during aeration typically close up on their own and the plugs disintegrate before the onset of winter.
Liquid aeration works without pulling up the soil. Through key bio-stimulants and highly oxidizing material at key growth stages of turf, liquid aeration breaks up and loosens topsoil to encourage a deeper rooting and more oxygen into the topsoil.
With the addition of the bio-stimulants to your soil, thatch can start to be broken down without having to rent a power rake. The results of liquid aeration speak for themselves. This soil sample was taken from the lawn at our office, and it’s clear to see that the top four to six inches of soil are broken up compared to the compacted clay at the bottom later of the soil sample.
These air pockets in the soil allow air and water movement, which promotes deeper growing roots.
American Turf & Tree Care has moved exclusively to using liquid aeration as a supplement to our 5 Star Lawn Care Program. Liquid aeration helps break up the Colorado clay much more effectively and is easier for our customers and our technician— sprinkler heads don’t have to be flagged, no more heavy equipment being dragged around, and we can fix the root of the problems of our native soil for a healthier lawn.
When To Aerate Your Lawn
Most grass in Colorado is cool-season turf. Cool-season grasses slow their growth in the fall before becoming dormant in winter, making this season the best time to aerate. Colorado’s soil stays warm until mid-November, meaning that aeration in September through November is ideal to allow nutrients, water, and oxygen to reach deep into the turf.
To help your lawn be as healthy and luscious as possible we highly recommend fall aeration. Here’s why:
Your cool-season grass will start to slow its growth in the fall, but its roots will continue to grow. By helping your grass’s roots have easy access to fertilizer, nutrients, and water, you’re helping them grow deeper into the soil. The deeper the roots the stronger and more resilient the grass.
When you aerate the soil you give the roots of your grass more breathing room. This added space encourages the roots to expand through the soil. Weeds can not grow in an area that is already full of healthy grassroots, so strong grassroots make it harder for weed seeds to take root and surprise you next spring!
In Colorado, we’re used to some harsh, cold winters. Oftentimes, lawns that are withered and exhausted in the fall don’t survive the cold temperatures, making it expensive come spring to fix all the brown patches. What’s more, once the brown patches are handled, it may take weeks for new grass to take root and grow. This means that you may need to invest in a few weeks of corrective action to nurse your backyard back to health!
Aerating in the fall will rejuvenate your lawn, making it better equipped to handle our freezing winters and setting it up for success once spring arrives!
Encourages Fresh Growth
While grass can live for a long time, fresh growth is still important! Without fresh grass, large areas can die off all of a sudden, leaving big bare patches in your yard. Aeration takes care of this problem by encouraging fresh growth of healthy grass in your yard, keeping it thick and healthy all season long.
Kiss Thatch Goodbye!
Over time, thatch will naturally build up on your soil. Thatch is a layer of organic material that develops between your grass and your soil, composed of dead and dying shoots, stems, roots, and grass clippings - and once it starts accumulating faster than natural microorganisms can break it down, it can wreak havoc on your lawn.
Aeration punches through layers of thatch, restoring your grass’ ability to breathe!
The addition of liquid aeration to our 5 Star Lawn Care Program is just one more way that we are always working to provide you with the best solution for your lawn. With aeration, seeding and proper fertilization, your lawn will be set up for success the next season!