Three Fall Treatments for 2020 Lawn Health
With the approach of fall to the Omaha area, let’s look at summer’s negative impact on your lawn. Heavy rains, extreme temperatures, insects and turf disease are all abuses your lawn may have been subjected to during this past summer season. Left untreated, the issues will resurface next year once the snow melts. What you do now, this fall, will determine how healthy and lush your lawn will be next year.
Paradise Lawns recommends a combination of Aeration, Overseeding and Topdressing with Compost every fall to address many common issues brought on by summer abuse. Let’s look at some distress signs and what you can do to ensure your yard is at its best next spring.
Aeration is the act of pulling plugs of soil out of the ground to allow air, nutrients and water to penetrate deep into your yard. The result is strengthened roots and a healthier lawn. Every yard will benefit from a yearly aeration treatment, but if you haven’t aerated regularly in the past, you may be experiencing the following symptoms of lawn compaction problems.
When it rains, do you have areas of water runoff or sections where water puddles?
Are there areas on your property where pets and people travel forming a path?
Do you have lines from bicycles or lawn mower tires?
Is your property a new build?
All of the above are symptoms of soil compaction. Soil compaction leads to drainage issues and makes it difficult for grass to grow and thrive. You could impose a strict “Keep Off Lawn” rule, but isn’t the point of maintaining a lush lawn to be able to enjoy it? So, if enjoying your yard means compaction from contact, look instead at how to help your yard recover and thrive. The best way is through Fall Aeration. The holes created in your lawn during the aeration process removes soil and leaves open pockets in the soil. These openings reduce soil resistance, allowing grass roots to grow and spread. The result is a stronger, healthier root system. Aeration also remedies water runoff and puddling by allowing water to drain more easily into the ground. The rainwater can now penetrate the ground. This creates a method of natural irrigation, saving you money on your water bill.
Do you have a thatch problem?
Another thing to consider when assessing your lawn is thatch thickness. ”Thatch is the spongy and often impervious layer of decaying material between the crown of the grass plants and the soil.” It is best to keep thatch thickness to less than ½ inch. Aerating each fall will keep the thatch level from increasing. However, an excess thatch issue may require a treatment known as Double Aeration. Double Aeration (Dethatching) reduces the thatch layer. Once we achieve less than ½ inch of thatch thickness, you can return to yearly aeration practices to maintain the appropriate level. In the past, we used power raking to accomplish this but found it to be too expensive. Also, customers did not like the damage that power raking caused their lawn. With double aeration, we are causing less damage to the lawn and providing a similar dethatching result to power raking. Plus, we love that we can provide this service at almost half the cost of traditional power raking!
Do you have bald spots in your yard where grass is sparse or absent?
If your answer is “yes,” we recommend overseeding along with aeration. Overseeding is simply adding a large quantity of certified grass seed to your freshly aerated lawn at the rate of 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet. We use quality commercial spreaders to ensure consistency.
Overseeding introduces new cultivars of grass into your existing lawn. These new grass seeds are continually being improved to resist disease and insects. It also promotes improved drought tolerance. Seed specialists spend countless hours developing these super seeds to produce lusher, greener lawns in harsher conditions.
We recommend overseeding every fall to strengthen your lawn. “One nice thing about seeding in the fall is you generally won’t have the weed competition like you do when seeding or overseeding in the spring.” The result is a strong and healthy lawn the following spring with fewer weeds.
Ever notice uneven sections or bumps in your lawn?
Topdressing with Compost is your best solution. Applying compost on top of your lawn reduces lawn stresses, helps keep thatch under control, and acts as a long-term natural fertilizer. It is the most beneficial cultural practice lawn care has to offer. Golf courses have applied it to their green spaces for years. In addition to a smoother surface, you are providing your lawn with an amazing source of nutrition. In addition, you are modifying any soil structure or drainage issues you may be experiencing.
Aeration, Overseeding and Topdressing with Compost treatments can be administered independently but work extremely well together. Aeration reduces compaction and keeps thatch in check. Overseeding after Aeration gives space for the seeds to expand and grow and Topdressing with Compost provides a layer of moisture protection and nutrients so your grass roots will grow strong and healthy. Left alone during the winter months, your lawn can return in the spring healthier and stronger.
So, call Paradise Lawns if your Omaha lawn is frazzled and tired from the abuses it has had to face this past summer and we will help it recover with Aeration, Overseeding and Topdressing with Compost this fall. Afterall, a great start to Spring 2020 begins with action taken Fall 2019.