This summer has been especially hard for lawns in Massachusetts. With rainfall much lower than average this season, our turf has been thirsty. Many towns have to enforce water restrictions or complete bans on outdoor watering which makes it even harder to maintain a lush lawn. Thankfully there is rain in the forecast! For lawns that have struggled through these last few months, we recommend that you make a plan to aerate and reseed after the summer season.
Aeration can be a critical component of a healthy lawn because it allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow stronger and produce a more lush, robust lawn. The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. The best time to aerate is during the growing season, but when there is less heat stress on your lawn. This would be early spring or early fall.
While some folks use a spike aerator to poke holes in the lawn, we recommend using a plug aerating machine. A plug aerator completely removes 1 - 2" plugs of compacted soil from your lawn, while a spike aerator may make some areas more compacted when it creates holes from the spikes. You can rent a plug aerator from a big box hardware store or equipment rental shops. Alternatively, you can hire a professional landscaper who knows the ins and outs of aerating a lawn to do the job for you. Either way, consider aerating your lawn to help your grass get the nutrients it needs.
Over time, grass thins out, some areas turn brown, and some areas completely die. These areas of your lawn look worn out and can also encourage weeds. Reseeding your lawn in early fall can help revive your turf without tearing everything out and starting over. It’s relatively quick and inexpensive. It’s also a great way to introduce a new type of grass if you think you want to try a grass variety that may work better for your lawn conditions (lots of sun vs. lots of shade).
The best time to reseed your lawn in New England is in early fall. The soil is warm but the air is starting to get cooler, and there aren’t as many weeds competing with your new grass.
Kids, pets, and this summer weather have been tough on our lawns. Lack of water, too much heat, summer wear and tear, and other problems have made for some dry, brown lawns. Once the temperatures drop in early fall, reinvigorate your lawn by aerating and reseeding.
If you’d like some help, give us a call at Gardenin’ Angels: 774-284-1171.
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Rodrigo Dos Anjos