Turf Tips: Winter lawn aeration
With less mowing thanks to your lawn being out of the growing season, now is the perfect time for a winter lawn aeration. Aeration is the process of breaking through the layer of thatch that has built up in your lawn to help deliver water and nutrients right to your lawns roots.
Why do we need to aerate?
Foot traffic leads to the soil under your lawn compacting. Also as your lawn grows a layer of thatch, dead growing material, builds up between the root structure and leaf of your lawn.
The more dense the soil is from compaction the less air and water is available to your lawn. Also this layer of that has built up prevents nutrients from getting through to the roots where they are needed most.
So to help break up the soil directly under your lawn we need to get in through your lawn and loosen up the soil. And at the same time we need to punch holes through the thatch layer allowing those nutrients to get through. A winter lawn aeration will take care of both of these tasks at the same time.
How can we aerate?
Whether you want to use what you have at home, buy some new toys or hire the big gear; there are several ways to go about a winter lawn aeration. For a detailed breakdown of these options you can see our post Help your lawn breathe.
The first thing you should do before you aerate is give your lawn a good water, this will soften up the soil making the task easier. Then you need to work out how serious you are.
Winter lawn aeration should always be undertaken with solid tines and not hollow coring tines. The simplest way to do this is grab a garden fork, and digging at least 10cm into the soil through your lawn. You then wiggle the fork to open up the holes which will let the nutrients through.
Another simple option but less effective option is to use the lawn aerator sandals. While these are easy to use, they are very ineffective on especially firm soils. Also they don’t work anywhere near as well as the other options as they don’t go in deep enough.
Bringing in the big guns
If you like playing with the big boys toys winter lawn aeration is a great opportunity to get your hands dirty. Your local machinery hire company can hire you a petrol powered lawn core aerator. The petrol power makes light work of the job and gives you by far the best result.
It is important to ensure you get one with solid tines, as the hollow coring tines these often come with are best suited to warmer weather.
What should we do after we aerate?
Once you have punched holes in your lawn it is important to get some nutrients down to the root base of your grass. If you haven’t fertilised for winter yet you could use a slow release fertiliser to give your lawn a feed for the cooler months.
If you have already fertilised you should at least make sure you give your lawn a good drink to take advantage of your aeration work. You could also use something like Seasol or Charlie Carp, both products that are great for giving your lawn a boost.
To get some more advice on winter lawn aeration or to find out how to install a new lawn in winter call our team on (07) 3114 8230. You can also to pop in and order in person at our sales office on 1/243 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge. The office opens Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7am to 12pm.
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