How green does your grass grow?
Secret to superb lawn is aeration
IF you love your lawn, you will want to keep it healthy and happy. The key is not to use chemicals to kill moss or high-nitrogen fertilizer to keep it green, but to practise regular maintenance. Here’s a simple project you can do each spring to keep your lawn in top shape.
There is a reason grass on many sports fields and golf courses always looks perfect — it is aerated and aerated and aerated.
Aeration is the best fertilizer. By using an aerator to pull tiny plugs of grass out of your lawn, you allow more air to reach the root system.
This in turn promotes a healthy lawn and results in vigorous growth.
You can rent a gas-powered aerator for $90 a day, but this is a heavy-duty machine that takes some strength to handle. For small lawn areas I find a hand-held aerator, such as the one made by Fiskars, works great.
Press down on the stirrup and the aerator pushes two three-inch plugs of soil out the ground. It can be a rather tedious and time-consuming process, but you’ll quickly get into a rhythm and become more adept at it.
Make sure there is a hole every eight or 10 centimetres. The more holes, the better.
Once the whole lawn has been aerated, it will look like a mess. Don’t worry, the soil plugs will soon break down and disappear.
Next, sprinkle sand evenly over the aerated ground and rake it into the holes.
The sand will not only relieve compaction, it will improve drainage and reduce soil acidity. Moss grows in soil that is acidic, poorly drained and compacted. To eliminate moss, you need to change the conditions: improve drainage, change soil chemistry (by adding lime to make it less acidic), reduce compaction and increase light levels by judiciously pruning a branch or two off shade trees.
The last part of this renovation project is to top-dress and overseed the lawn.
First, mix up sand with top soil to create a light and airy medium. Spread this lightly over the lawn to no more than a depth of 0.5cm. Take perennial rye seed and sprinkle it liberally over the area. Rake the ground lightly after overseeding to scratch some of the seed under the soil. Walking over the area will press any loose seed into the soil to aid germination.
Grass seed germinates quickly when ground temperature is 18 C (65 F), but it will take off, albeit more slowly, when the soil is only 13 or 15C (55 to 59 F).
Liming should be done a week or two in advance of aerating and overseeding to allow the lime time to leach into the soil.
— Vancouver Sun
High-nitrogen fertilizer is not the key to a healthy, green lawn.