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Fall 2009

Lawn Aeration & TopDressing
A Crucial Practice for Healthy Turf

The health and vigor of a home lawn is directly related to the condition of the soil it is growing in.  The root systems of turf make up the majority of plant, and alterations to the soil may be detrimental to the quality of the turf.  

A suitable soil for growing grass should consist of 50% air space that is essential for root growth.  These air spaces are elimated by overusing areas for walkways, play areas, sports fields and driving or parking on turf.  The resulting compaction restricts roots from expanding, impedes air and water movement, and will not allow full use of nutrients in the soil.  Also, without air flow, carabon dioxide that is naturally produced by roots, is unable to circulate and can poison the plant. 

Soil compaction ultimately places the turf under a tremendous amount of stress, leaving it susceptible to disease and insects, and will allow an easier route for weeds to move in. 

Soil compaction will also lead to a problem known as thatch.  Thatch is simply a layer of organic material that lies between the soil surface and the plant.  If left to accumulate, thatch can cause problems for turf by restricting air flow and water absorption.  Normally microorganisms such as earthworms, will assist in the breakdown of thatch, but in a compacted root zone, these organisms struggle for survival.

Relieving Compaction

Aeration is  a great way to relieve compaction in soil.  The preferred method is a machine that will remove cores or poke holes from your lawn, 3 to 4 inch deep.  It sounds like a very destructive process, but it relatively harmless if done with the right equipment and at the right time of year.  

Typically this is done once a year in the fall, when the grass is beginning to grow again and is able to recover quickly without being stressed by heat.  

The aeration process will break up compacted soil, allowing air and nutrient movement and resulting in a healthier root system.  Mircroorganisms will also have a better environment to live and help decompose thatch and provide their own nutrients to the turf.

Topdressing 

After aeration, a fantastic way to promote healthy soil, and microorganims is to topdress your turf with compost.  Not only will the compost provide food for the turf, but will provide an excellent medium for organisms to thrive.  We provide this service for all of our customers and have seen amazing results with this method.  Learn More!

Tree Fertilization
Keeping Landscape Trees Healthy

In wooded areas, nature provides a layer of organic material on the surface of the soil known as "duff."  As this layer decomposes, it provides necessary nutrients to the surrounding trees.  Unfortunately, in most of our landscape settings, we do not have this beneficial organic layer, and we have other plants and turf competing for the same water and nutrients.  Also, soils can be compacted around trees due to construction or everyday traffic, which makes nutrients difficult to obtain.  

It is often necessary to supplement these nutrients to our landscape trees though the use of fertilizers.  If a tree is deficient in nutrients, it is unable to produce the necessary defense mechanisms that help protect it from diseases and insects, not to mention will place the stree under stress.  Trees also can exhibit unsightly symptoms such as reduction in color, foliage amount and less annual growth. 

Typically, the fertilizers are applied as injections around the root zone early in early to late fall before the ground freezes.  This is a very beneficial because nutrients arre applied below the roots of the turf, and are more apt to be used by the tree roots, and not the turf.  Also the injection equipment has enough pressure to alleviate some of the compaction around the root zone.   Roots are able to absorb nutrients, transfer oxygen and have room to grow. 

Learn more about this service.


 

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