Core aeration is the most effective way to improve the condition of your lawn this spring, creating curb appeal for your home. Is your lawn patchy and full of weeds with the soil so compacted that you cannot stick a shovel into it? Under these conditions, the grass you do have cannot compete with the weeds for air and water.
Be sure to use a core and not a spike aerator. A core aerator removes plugs of soil, leaving holes for water, air and nutrients to penetrate the roots of your lawn. A spike aerator, on the other hand, pushes plugs into your soil, further compacting it, and doing more damage than good. You can rent a gas-powered core aerator and aerate your own lawn, or call a landscaping company to do it for you. Manual aerators are great for small areas as they eliminate the noise and air pollution, not to mention provide good exercise! I have a small manual aerator and am able to handle most (small) lawns in Kanata.
Do not aerate too early in the spring when the soil is still soggy. The soil must be thawed and dry; a few days after a good rain is ideal. If you start a little later in the season when your grass is already growing, cut the lawn shorter than you usually do, and water it deeply (unless it has rained) a few times, two days before aerating. Remove (by hand) as many weeds as possible as well as any dead grass. You are now ready to aerate!…
If you would like to go a step further after aerating your lawn, you can now top-dress and overseed . Sprinkle your lawn with compost, composted (not raw) manure, or coffee grounds and rake in to provide nutrients for the roots and to encourage worms. Spread grass seed according to package directions; be sure to use seed designated for sun, shade and/or high traffic areas. Cover the seed lightly with soil, no more than 1/4 inch.
Water your lawn well, and keep it damp until sprouts appear, approximately two weeks. When the new grass starts growing, water less often, but for longer periods of time, to encourage deep roots. Do not cut your newly seeded lawn until it is greater than 3 inches long. Do not apply any weed killers for at least two months.
A lush green lawn significantly enhances the effort you put into your gardens and provides curb appeal. Core aeration, top-dressing and overseeding are three simple and cost efficient ways to create curb appeal for your home. Spring will be here any day now, get planning!
Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens. Her other interests include reading and writing. Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca