It’s hard to believe that it’s back to school season, which means that fall is right around the corner! In fact, we’re starting later this week on one of the most important services we offer this time of year—core aeration. Core aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn in the fall.
What is Core Aeration?
Core aeration is the process of opening up the soil in your lawn by plugging holes in it. Our aerator plugs 2-3 inch deep, finger-size holes into the soil.
Why is Core Aeration Important?
Our soils are primarily clay based, so throughout the year, mowing, walking, playing, watering, and general traffic compact the soil, particularly in the upper 1 to 1.5 inches of soil. This leaves the subsoil undesirable for healthy lawn growth.
The process of mechanical aeration relieves this compaction, opening up the soil to improve infiltration of water, fertilizer, and oxygen into the roots. We use several different pieces of equipment for this process to ensure that plugs are pulled to the optimal depth and spacing.
This ultimately helps strengthen the roots of the grass. And healthy roots equal healthy turf!
Over Seeding With Core Aeration
We often pair core aeration with another of our services—over seeding. This periodic seeding process allows the new seedlings to root into the aeration holes, which improves and maintains turf density, allowing for a thicker, healthier looking lawn.
Over seeding after an aeration allows for maximum seed to soil contact, making it more effective than just seeding alone. Grass types can be adjusted based on existing turf, shade versus sun areas, and your overall goals.
Why Aerate & Over Seed in the Fall?
Fall is our preferred time of year for core aeration and over seeding because the soil is typically moist and warm enough for the aeration, but we don’t have to worry about spreading weed seeds in the process. Adding seed in the fall is also the best time of year. Contrary to what many people think, fall (not spring!) is actually the optimal time of year for seeding your lawn.
Virginia Cooperative Extension puts it this way:
“The best chance for grass plants to survive the stress associated with summer is for them to develop as many roots as possible and to be as mature as possible before summer arrives. To accomplish this, fall is the time to plant. Warmer soil temperatures mean faster seed germination. Typically, our rainfall patterns are more consistent in the fall, and by seeding in the fall, we allow grass plants to become established before winter sets in. They are able to grow roots well into the late fall and early winter. As spring comes, these plants develop more, get thicker, and grow deeper roots. When summer arrives, their food reserves and root development are much better, and they are able to endure the summer stress without dying like the spring seeded grass.”
Hopefully we’ve convinced you of how important core aeration can be for your turf. If so, get in touch with us today to schedule core aeration and over seeding for your lawn!