Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lawn Care: Aerating & Compost

I am wondering if they made taxes due April 15th so that we would have time for the lawn! The lawn-growing season is here -- and this is my early season schedule:
  1. Lime -- end of March
  2. Aerate & compost (more on that later) -- just after taxes (April 16 or so)
  3. First mow (shorter than ususal to promote root and grass growth) -- depends on weather; but as needed, and a little on the short side.
  4. First spring fertilizer soon after first mow.
Aerating is a great thing for your lawn. It removes thatch, loosens compacted soil, and allows nitrients to get to the roots of your lwan more easily. Some tips on aerating:
  • A device that removes cores of soil and thatch is MUCH better than the devices that just poke holes in the lawn. You can buy a device that you step on to aerate your lawn or rent a heavier-duty machine.
  • Aerate before the active-growing time of your lawn.
  • Don't aerate during periods of heat and drought. Opening up the lawn during times of stress like that can hurt your lawn.
While I'm at it, once I aerate the lawn, I lay down some compost/manure/good topsoil.
  • I use a broom or light rake to level the compost.
  • This is also a good time to level out your lawn. If there are any dips or lower areas, you can lay a little more in those areas. (Speaking of lower areas, if you DO have minor dips in your lawn, you can lay thin layers every month or so to build that area up).
  • Finally, I water everthing to wash things down -- and avoid smothering the grass.
This should give the lawn a good jumpstart to the growing season. Here's to a beautiful, thick, lush, green lawn that you can be proud of.