Do you feel like you're doing everything right, but your Phoenix or Tucson lawn still looks anemic and discolored? The solution might be aeration. In fact, it can be suggested that aeration should in fact be an integral part of any ecologically-based program of lawn care. So, just why is aerating a lawn a helpful idea?
Relieve Soil Compaction -- Over time, foot traffic and dry periods can compact the soil in which your lawn is trying to grow. Aeration relieves this condition to a significant degree. Water quickly reaches the roots before it evaporates. Therefore, less water is needed. Likewise, fertilizer gets to the roots where it is needed.
Thatch Reduction -- In general, its good to allow those grass clippings to settle back into the lawn. The need for nitrogen fertilizer can be reduced 25-30 percent. The clippings decompose over time, thereby enriching and loosening the soil. However, the clippings can also weave themselves into a water and air-resistant mat. Heavy thatch can leave the grass plants starved for oxygen. Water sits on the thatch, and too much evaporates before it can soak in and nourish the turf. Also, as the plugs generated by aeration break down, they generate micro-organisms that can speed the breakdown of remaining thatch.
Organic Fertilization -- To maximize the benefits of organic-based fertilizers, twice-a-year aeration may be preferable. 60 percent slow-release fertilizers are often the best match for freshly aerated lawns.
By contrast, fertilizers too-high in nitrogen can bring about unhealthy growth patterns. Finally, "weed-and-feed" style fertilizers should be avoided, because they are too potent when delivered directly to the roots of younger seedlings. Weed and Feed can actually kill or disfigure such plants.
Healing the Damage -- The heat tolerance of your Arizona grass is actually expanded through the aeration process. Lawns damaged by drought can recover more readily. Aeration allows the direct delivery of water and fertilizer to the roots of weakened turf. Grasses that are dormant in the winter can spring back to life more readily with aeration.
Enhance Disease Resistance -- A stronger, healthier Arizona lawn is also a more disease-resistant one. Plus, unhealthy organisms tend to thrive in heavily thatched lawns.
Germinating Chambers -- Think of those holes created by aeration as little chambers where seedlings can get established in an ideal environment of loose, moist soil. The plugs break down and loose soil drops into the holes, creating an ideal environment for the growth of new grass.
The bottom line is, invest in aeration in the short-term and enjoy water and fertilizer savings in the long-term. Also, avoid a possible future need for over-seeding or other stronger remedies that may be necessary to rescue a heavily thatched and suffocating lawn.
At Evergreen Turf, we strive to install the healthiest sod in Arizona. With proper care, your investment in Arizona sod can pay off in a beautiful and functional lawn for years to come. Aeration can represent one helpful component in a complete lawn care regimen.
For more Arizona sod landscaping tips and lawn care information, visit Evergreen Turf's website http://www.evergreenturf.com.
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