Summer 2019: Turf 101
August is Healthy Turf Month
At this point in the summer, we are all aware that the days are shorter and evening temperatures are trending cooler. So far, 2019 has been unusually wet and this has created ripple effects on timing of fertilizer, mowing and weed control but our crews have worked longer hours and performed a little magic! However, we must make sure that we finish strong and now is the perfect time to rejuvenate and renovate turf.
Our turf specialists categorize turf care as follows: i) turf improvement (most properties fall into this category); ii) partial renovation (small to medium areas of concern); iii) species conversion (e.g. turf to native prairie); and iv) complete renovation (new construction wherein soils require extensive remediation).
The best and first step to healthy turf is core aeration. This practice creates plugs (or “cores”) of soil and thatch from your lawn as you see in this photo below. The core plugs are left to dry and reintegrate into the turf. Aeration makes more room for air, water and fertilizer to reach the roots. It will encourage a stronger, deeper root system for healthier, greener growth next spring.
Next we may recommend overseeding or new grass seeding of problem areas. When this is required, we incorporate a verti-slicer simultaneously with aeration or within a few days of aeration when the core plugs are dry. The slicer creates a groove for grass seed to be in contact with the soil, which is needed for germination and proper root development of the seedling.
Finally, fertilizer that is formulated for fall season is applied. The turf must continue to be watered until it is time to shut down irrigation in advance of winter.
Call us today to talk to a turf expert and see if core aeration is the right “prescription” for your property!