Monday, May 24, 2010

Rental Girl's tip # 2 - Aeration

Keeping it healthy is all about the holes

Once you have a perfectly mowed lawn - grass at the optimal height and mowed at the optimal intervals, sit back, relax and pat yourself on the back. Oh yeah, and aerate your lawn. And not just with the "as seen on TV" aerating shoe attachments (though they look fun to use - can anyone say lawn aerating party?). For this segment I turned to the experts at Ryan, a turf and lawn equipment manufacturer for more information. Click here for their site.

Aeration is a step that many do-it-yourselfers miss, but one that has the potential to give you one of the lushest lawns on your block. Aerating your lawn is like allowing it to take a deep breath of air and a gulp of water. In addition to allowing the grass to absorb more water it also increases the resiliency and cushioning of your lawn and allows the root systems to really take hold. This in turn will help your grass survive and flourish through the drier summer months or while you're gone on that long vacation.

Here's how it works
The idea is simple, that by creating holes or plugs of even size (usually about 1 1/2- 3" deep), more air and water will have the chance to get to the grass roots which otherwise become compacted and too dense to absorb the nutrients they need. In the Bay Area, this problem is often amplified by the dense clay soil right beneath the surface. Within a week, your lawn should begin to fortify its roots and you'll see the holes fill with the new, white root system. Some of the results of these stronger roots should be a softer, lusher and healthier lawn.

5 quick tips

#1 Prep the lawn. Be sure to mark your in-ground sprinkler heads!

#2 Set the right depth. Aerating depth ranges between 1 1/2" to 3" and can be adjusted on the aerating machine depending on how thick the dead organic matter is beneath your lawn.

#3 Aerate the lawn in a cross-hatch pattern. Go across the lawn in parallel lines in one direction, then change and make another set of parallel lines at a 45 degree angle to the original lines for maximum coverage.

#4 Don’t remove the “plugs” that will litter your lawn afterward,they will decompose and feed the turf and new roots.

#5 If you live in an area with clay-rich soil, aerating twice a year in the Spring and Fall is most beneficial.

For more information on renting an aerator at AAA Rentals Redwood City click here.

Let your lawn breathe!

Until next post,
Rental Girl Redwood City