Aer­i­fi­ca­tion for warm sea­son lawns

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Ricky Ens­ley [email protected]

Now is the time for core aer­i­fi­ca­tion of our warm sea­son grasses. This is the year for aer­i­fi­ca­tion.

Core aer­i­fi­ca­tion is a cul­ti­va­tion process that opens the soil, al­low­ing mois­ture and air into the root zone of turf grass. Timed cor­rectly, aer­i­fi­ca­tion can stim­u­late rhi­zomes to ini­ti­ate growth, caus­ing the grass to grow sooner.

To stim­u­late growth and achieve sur­face cov­er­age as early as pos­si­ble, core aer­i­fi­ca­tion in late April through mid-May will likely ben­e­fit many lawns that suf­fered through mul­ti­ple droughtin­duced dor­mancy pe­ri­ods last sum­mer and fall.

Core aer­i­fi­ca­tion could also help cen­tipede grass and St. Au­gus­tine grass, which do not have rhi­zomes. While the prac­tice would not stim­u­late shoot growth from rhi­zomes that these species do not have, aer­i­fi­ca­tion re­lieves com­paction that gen­er­ally stim­u­lates root­ing and pro­motes deeper roots that pull wa­ter and nutri­ents from a greater soil vol­ume. The re­sult of aer­i­fi­ca­tion is an in­crease in growth and a health­ier plant.

There are two types of aer­i­fi­ca­tion: hol­low and solid tine. With the hol­low aer­i­fi­ca­tion, a soil core is re­moved. With solid tine aer­i­fi­ca­tion, a hole is cre­ated and no core is re­moved. In both types of aer­i­fi­ca­tion, a void in the soil is cre­ated that al­lows air and wa­ter to more deeply pen­e­trate the root zone.

With ei­ther technique, the deeper the aer­i­fi­ca­tion holes the bet­ter. Cores usu­ally are 3 to 4 inches in depth and a half-inch in di­am­e­ter. The sur­round­ing soil re­laxes back into the void, open­ing pore space in the sur­round­ing soil. This con­trib­utes to an over­all im­proved air ex­change and bet­ter wa­ter in­fil­tra­tion within the soil. Grass will have less vigor this spring be­cause of last sum­mer. Avoid ap­ply­ing ni­tro­gen fer­til­izer to warm-sea­son grasses un­til soil tem­per­a­tures at the 4-inch depth are above

650 F and ris­ing. Now is a good time to do a soil sam­ple. Con­tact Polk County Ex­ten­sion of­fice at 770-749-2142 or email at [email protected] to sub­mit a soil sam­ple to the UGA Agri­cul­tural and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sciences Lab.

Clint Waltz, Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion turf spe­cial­ist with UGA Col­lege of Agri­cul­tural and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sciences pro­vided in­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle.

Ricky Ens­ley

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.