As summer begins to wind down here in Pennsylvania and fall quickly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about your fall lawn care. Pennsylvania summers can be harsh on even the healthiest lawns as soil compaction, drought, and high heat can cause stress, damage, and fatigue. If your grass shows bare patches or you have heavy clay soil in certain areas, you may have compacted soil.
Compacted soil is when the particles of soil are squeezed together reducing the pore space between them. Think of the analogy “sardines in a can”; this helps to give you a visual image of your root system and what compact soil does to it. Compact soil reduces the rate of both water infiltration and drainage preventing nutrients and water from getting to and from your grassroots. This can cause your grass to become malnourished and dehydrated. Weakening it over time and in many cases, the grass can die in these areas.
Signs You Have Compacted Soil
- Water runs off or pools in areas of your yard
- Bare, thin, or patchy areas of grass
- Stunted growth of plants
- Bare dirt where nothing, to include weeds will grow
The best way to combat compacted soil is through a process called core aeration.
What is Core Aeration?
Aeration is the process of creating holes throughout your lawn to redistribute the soil. The holes made by the aeration process allow air, water, and nutrients back into the roots of your grass. Doing this will help breathe new life back into your lawn, along with many other benefits. Some of them include:
- Deeper, stronger root growth
- Thicker, healthier grass
- Grass grows much easier
- Reduces water runoff
- A healthier, more substantial yard
When is the Best Time to Aerate?
Knowing the best time to aerate is essential to getting the most out of the process. You can aerate your yard anytime during the growing season, but the recommended time to aerate cool season grasses such as what we have in western Pennsylvania, is in the fall. Not to say you can’t aerate in the spring; but aerating in the spring is always tricky as the weeds and crabgrass are beginning to germinate and aeration at this time is more likely to disperse weed seeds throughout your lawn. If you are putting down a pre-emergent crabgrass control in the spring, then a spring aeration will break the barrier of the crabgrass control allowing crabgrass to begin to germinate in lawns that are thin and patchy or have bare spots.
Here at LawnRx we aerate in the fall; thus ensuring that we do not have to sacrifice our pre-emergent crabgrass control and any weed controls that may be necessary in early spring. Fall aeration helps promote stronger roots and provides the perfect bed for overseeding. When it comes to aeration, it is best to hire a professional.
The Benefits of Overseeding Your Lawn
After aerating your lawn, it is primed and ready for overseeding. Overseeding helps to introduce newer species and varieties of grasses that can handle the stresses such as mowing, heat stress, traffic on the lawn, drought stress and more.
Overseeding will help to:
- Fill in any bare areas
- Thicken the grass to prevent weeds
- Helps to fend off pests, drought, and disease
- Enhances appearance and color
The overseeding process can improve the look and health of your lawn dramatically. Overseeding is most beneficial to cool-season grasses like fescue, ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass. The thicker and fuller the lawn the less amount of weeds and a happier lawn you will have!
Get Aeration and Overseeding Services From LawnRx
The fall is the perfect time to invest in core aeration and overseeding. After a summer of high traffic and play, your lawn needs a boost. Call the professionals at LawnRx and ask us about our aeration and overseeding process.
Core aeration and overseeding combined with our five-step lawn care program will work together providing you with not only a healthy lawn but the beautiful lawn that you have dreamt about!