Ah, lovely Autumn! It’s just around the corner. Back to school, apple cider, fall foliage, and thatch.
Say what now? If you haven’t spent much time studying the landscape arts, you may not know what thatch is. This blog will be full of some terms you’ve never heard of (or heard of but have only the vaguest idea about) that are absolute maintenance musts for your lawn.
Although the mowing season is winding down, that doesn’t mean your lawn doesn’t need any more work. So today, BK will teach you all about aeration, overseeding, and thatch and why they all matter to the health of your property.
We’ve just thrown a lot of words at you. So we’re going to start with a few definitions before we get too into the weeds.
What Is Aeration?
Aeration is adding air to something, in this case, soil. Aerating your lawn involves making the soil less dense by adding holes into and pulling up small cores of earth. In other words, aeration means what it sounds like it means.
What Is Overseeding?
Much like aeration, overseeding is a word whose definition hides in plain sight. Overseeding involves placing seeds over your grass. You are planting new seeds into your lawn to keep new growth continuing and replacing grass in bare spots.
What are Thatch and Dethatching?
Ok, sorry. No more context clues. What is thatch?
Thatch is a layer of organic matter, mostly dead, that builds up over soil and around plants. Thatch happens when the plants produce debris faster than they can decompose.
A certain amount of thatch benefits your lawn because it creates resilient grass. But too much thatch is problematic because it blocks light, water, and nutrients from reaching your lawn.
Now we get back to context clues! Dethatching is (say it with me, class) removing thatch! Detaching can be done separately from aeration but is also part of the process.
Now, with our definitions out of the way, we can get into the heart of the matter: why, how, and when do we aerate and overseed our lawns?
What Is the Purpose of Aerating & Overseeding?
Aerating and overseeding are essential elements of lawn maintenance. Both have their role in keeping your lawn healthy.
Over time, the soil beneath your lawn gets compacted. There are a few reasons for this.
Gravity causes dirt to settle naturally. Water can also increase the settling. When you have drainage problems, you may find that parts of your property erode, washing away dirt and weighing down the remaining dirt. Still, even average precipitation can aggravate soil compaction.
Foot traffic can also cause compacted soil, which is why some spots have denser earth than others. For example, you may find that where the kids put their slip n slide or play a lot of tag are very compacted spots.
Grass and other plants have more difficulty surviving in densely packed soil. As a result, the plants cannot get water and nutrients as efficiently. Eventually, this can cause lawn disease and bare spots.
The lack of plants can cause further erosion because bare soil without robust root systems is more likely to be washed away, thereby causing higher density. So the cycle continues, and your yard deteriorates.
The purpose of aerating and overseeding your lawn is to stop the process of densifying soil and plant death, creating a healthier lawn and a more beautiful yard.
The healthier yard has the added benefit of making weed incursion more difficult. But, of course, the best way to weed your garden is never to have weeds in the first place. And the best way to avoid weeds making a home in your yard is to make the lawn inhospitable to weeds.
Healthy grass crowds out weeds and makes it impossible for them to grow. So BK ensures you have healthy grass. In the fall, that means aeration and overseeding.
How Do We Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn?
You have probably seen an old movie or cartoon where someone walked around a field in spikes to “aerate” it. The problem with this so-called aeration is that it can make your ground denser. Think about it: driving something into the ground will force dirt down, making it more compact wherever it goes.
We use professional equipment for our aeration. A good aerate not only pokes holes but brings up cores of earth. If it were flour, we’d be sifting, not packing it!
Did you think I forgot about the thatch? No, I brought it up for a reason, after all.
When we bring up those plugs of earth during aeration, we also bring up cores of thatch, dethatching your lawn while we aerate it, and making it healthier all along the way.
Finally, why do we overseed? This answer is more straightforward. Adding seeds creates new growth.
A certain amount of grass loss is expected. However, Overseeding helps us to keep up and keep ahead of the changes in your lawn, so it’s always green, thick, and lush.
Why Aerate and Overseed in Autumn?
So does timing matter? Yes. Generally speaking, the best times to aerate are Spring and Autumn, although you can aerate at any time.
And the best time to overseed? Right after aeration.
The reason for overseeding immediately following aerating your lawn is that you have created the ideal growing conditions for new life. New plants need air, water, soil, nutrients, and sunlight. By aerating, you’ve just created more room in the ground for all of those vital ingredients to reach your new grass seeds.
Finally, because the weather is milder in the Autumn, it allows you to plant grass seeds when they don’t have to work as hard to establish themselves. So we do both together in fall to give your lawn what it needs when it needs it.
Who Do You Call for Aeration and Overseeding?
You call BK for all your lawn care and landscaping needs. So we are naturally going to be there for your aeration and overseeding.
At BK, going the extra mile is only the beginning!