Summertime here in New Hampshire is a time of outdoor relaxation. Kicking back after a long workweek to enjoy some quality time out in the yard. With school being out, the kids are out in the yard playing and the dogs are having a field day. Unfortunately, this means that our lawns are going through a lot of stress right now. By the end of summer or early fall, it’s time to start thinking about lawn restoration to set your lawn up for success going into the winter. Lawn restoration now will save you time and money next spring.
With all of the increased foot traffic that our lawns endure over the summer, it’s no wonder they need a little pick-me-up. Between the kids playing, the dogs running around, the outdoor parties, and the regular mowing, not to mention the heat and lack of rain, your yard takes a beating. All of this traffic translates to a lawn that’s in need of restoration.
One of the main problems that your lawn will be dealing with is compacted soil. When your soil is hard and compacted, it means that your grass roots aren’t receiving the air, water, and nutrients that they need to survive.
Another threat to your yard’s health is too much thatch. Thatch is the grass clippings and other organic material located at the base of your grass blades, just above the soil. Having a thin layer of thatch is healthy for any lawn, but if you have over a half-inch of thatch in your lawn then your grass could start struggling. You can easily check how thick your thatch feeling around for spongy areas on your grass. You could also stick a screwdriver down through the thatch and measure it when you pull it out. If it’s more than half an inch then you will need to get to work.
If you have compacted soil or too much thatch, or both, then aeration is going to be your best solution. When you aerate your lawn, you’ll eliminate soil compaction and reduce thatch in your yard, giving you that healthy lawn that you’ve been looking for.
Aeration, or core aeration as you’ll often hear, is the process of pulling thousands of small plugs of compacted soil out of your lawn. This is done with the help of specialized aerator equipment and machines that go over your lawn and pull up the plugs.
The benefits of aeration are substantial. This process increases the circulation of air, water, and nutrients to your grass roots. It opens up the soil to allow the grassroots to spread out and reach deeper into the soil. Water is more easily absorbed along with any nutrients that you may use on your lawn on your own or through a lawn care program. Overall, your grass roots will be stronger and deeper, making your lawn stronger and more drought-resistant, and your grass will have access to all the air, water, and nutrients that it needs to give you that healthy green lawn.
The age-old question: when is the best time to aerate a lawn? The answer to this question depends on where you live and what grass types make up your lawn. It’s best to do aeration during the growing season so your lawn is able to recover after the intense process.
Here in New Hampshire, we have cool season grasses in our lawns. The growing seasons for cool-season grasses are the spring and fall. This means that, if you’re going to aerate your lawn, it’s best to do it in late summer to early fall.
Another essential step to lawn restoration is overseeding or slice seeding. These are two different methods for spreading new grass seed over your already established yard. Overseeding and slice-seeding are best done with a mixture of different grasses so your lawn can enjoy all of the benefits.
Both services utilize a mixture of different grass seeds including tall fescue, perennial rye, and Kentucky bluegrass. While overseeding and slice seeding are after the same results: a lusher, greener lawn, they have two different methods of obtaining those results.
Overseeding is the process of throwing seed down on an already established lawn. It’s used to fill in bare or thin patches of grass and is best used in conjunction with aeration services. The best time to overseed your lawn is with aeration services from mid-August to early fall.
Slice seeding, on the other hand, does not need to be done with aeration. For slice seeding, a lawn technician will use equipment that will slice into the ground at the right depth while depositing grass seeds directly into the soil. The slices ensure that the seed to soil contact is perfect.
To finish off your aeration and overseeding or your slice seeding services, consider top dressing. Utilizing a natural compost topdressing on a slice-seeded or overseeded lawn will set your lawn up for success going into the next year. The nutrient-packed compost blowing will cover your seeded areas, giving the seeds the cover they need for protection and the nutrients needed for optimal growth. These lawn restoration techniques will help take your lawn into the fall and winter with optimal health.
If you want to take the guesswork out of lawn restoration, call the professionals at Alliance Landscaping. Here at Alliance, we have premium aeration, overseeding, slice seeding, and topdressing services to help revitalize your lawn. We’ll help get your lawn ready to take on the winter and bounce back next spring.