What is Soil Aeration?
Soil aeration is a crucial process as it controls the soil levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide that take part in the respiration of the roots of plants. At Diamond Cut Lawn Services Ltd, Medicine Hat, we make your lawn spring ready with our aeration and power raking services. Learn about the tips and suggestions from our experts on how to make your soil healthy:
Q: Why is soil aeration important?
Q: When to aerate?
A: Best time for aeration is either the early spring or fall. Make sure the soil is completely thawed and slightly moist.
De-Thatching (Power Raking)
Thatch is a layer of un-decomposed plant matter that builds up in the lawn between the grass and the soil surface. Thatch arises from grass stems and roots in the top soil that die and don’t fully decompose.
Benefits of Thatch:
- Mulching soil and slowing water loss
- Cushions the soil and decreases compaction, improving turf tolerance to foot and mower traffic
- Insulating grass crowns from soil temperature swings
Problems from Too Thick of a Thatch Layer:
- Prevents water, fertilizer and insect/disease control products from reaching the soil
- Blocking sunlight from reaching lower grass blades
- Holding moisture against grass blades, which can foster disease
- Blocking soil so that grass roots grow into nutrient-lacking thatch; resulting in a shallow-rooted lawn
- Creates an uneven base, resulting in uneven mowing and scalping
Causes of Thatch:
- Over-fertilizing with too much nitrogen
- Always mowing too high
- Heavy clay soil
Q: What are the ways to tell if the lawn needs de-thatching?
- Feel the lawn: If it is spongy or bouncy underfoot, with a springy feel, it means it has a thick thatch layer.
- Can you shove your finger through the thatch? A thatch layer which is tough to wedge a finger through, needs to be thinned.
- Measure the thatch by using a trowel or spade to remove a wedge-shaped layer of grass and soil of about three inches. Look for the thatch layer on top of the soil and measure the thickness. If it’s greater that ¾” the lawn needs de-thatching.
Q: What is mulch mowing?
Mulch mowing does not lead to thatch formation.
It is a healthy practice that can prevent thatch formation.
Q: When to de-thatch?
Q: Which is more important – de-thatching or aerating?
Aerating can be done every year with beneficial effects.
De-thatching should be done only as needed.