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Core Aeration & Care For Newly Seeded Lawns
To maintain a
healthy lawn through periods of stress, the soil needs water, air and
nutrients in the top 6 to 10 inches. Soils that are hard and
compacted, have no "nooks and crannies" to hold the water, air
or nutrients. Without these crucial components, root growth is
impeded, which prevents the grass from developing the deep root system
that is essential to survive in hot and dry or harsh and cold periods.
core aerator's tines pull plugs of soil from the lawn.
Core aeration is the
process of mechanically removing plugs of thatch and soil from the
lawn. Aeration opens the soil, helps reduce compaction, improves
water infiltration, improves rooting, reduces thatch and acts in many
other ways to improve the lawn and reduce stress. Aeration restores
the vital "nooks and crannies" to the soil.
|Core aeration can be
used to minimize thatch accumulation, to modify its physical
characteristics, and to reduce soil compaction. Soil plugs are
deposited on the turf surface (see right). These plugs then break down and
redistribute soil throughout the thatch layer. The soil from the
plugs helps to modify the physical structure of the thatch, making it a
better growing medium.
This soil also enhances thatch breakdown by
introducing the beneficial microorganisms that feed on thatch.
The author, Chris
Karcher of NaturaLawn
turfgrasses growing in heavy clay or poor soils benefit greatly from
annual aeration to reduce thatch buildup and more importantly, to relieve
soil compaction. This cultural treatment will help improve the
recycling flow of air, water, and fertilizer to your grass plants.
This, in turn, will help to rejuvenate your grass by allowing the roots to
grow deeper, creating healthier grass plants and keeping your lawn thicker
Care For Newly
- Direct all
traffic away from the seeded areas to avoid disturbing the seedbed.
- Core aerated
lawns will have plugs of soil deposited across the surface of the
lawn. These will break down readily over the next 10 to 14 days
and need not be raked off.
- You must keep the
seed moist. Daily watering for 15 -20 minutes per location until
the seed germinates should be adequate. When the seedlings reach
a height of 2 inches, watering may be adjusted to three times a week
for 20 - 30 minutes per location.
- Do not mow areas
until new seedlings are up about 3 inches. Use a sharp mower
blade to prevent pulling seedlings out. If areas of the lawn
become too tall, mow the areas at a 3 inch cutting height or higher.
- Do not panic if
weeds come up in the seeded areas. These weeds can be controlled
later after the new grass plants have been mowed twice.
- If leaves begin
to mat areas down, they must be carefully removed. Preferably
with a hand blower.
Nature's way takes time! Depending on the type of seed, germination
can be as short as seven days or as long as a month.
Do not get
discouraged and forget to water. The best bluegrass seed usually
takes between 21 - 28 days for germination and fescue from 10 - 20 days.
Back to Turf Tips Index
Chris Karcher is a
local franchise owner of NaturaLawn of America - the leader in organic-based
lawn care and the only national service provider to promote Environmentally
Responsible lawn care. "Doing the right thing has never been