March was a long, cold and snowy month, and so along with just about every other Calgarian we at Mirage Landscaping welcome April with open arms! As a long-time commercial landscaping maintenance and design firm in Calgary, we would like to remind all of you commercial property owners and managers that late April through the end of May is the prime time to aerate your lawn spaces. Grass has to be reliably out of dormancy to best benefit from aerating and a feeding to help it stay green through the hot summer season.
Aerating a lawn makes good sense for a commercial property.
What Is Aerating Anyway?
Aerating a lawn is essentially slicing narrow strips into or pulling out shallow holes out of the dirt below the grass in order to introduce air to the root systems. Aerating punches through the surface level undergrowth of old grass, the layer called thatch, to promote new growth. Aerating is especially important in soils with higher compaction factors like commercial properties.
Aerating a commercial property isn’t just about the appearance of greener grass. It’s also about saving you money. An aerated lawn more efficiently uses its resources. Healthy and thick grass with deeper roots will reduce your water bills by accepting moisture more effectively while also being less susceptible to damage from foot traffic and localized air pollutants.
How Aerating Works
Like any other plant that uses chlorophyll to convert sunlight into food, grass thrives when it is freer to fix atmospheric or applied nitrogen, and absorb water as needed.
When soil is compacted, either due to its composition, such as clay or small rocks being present, or through being trod upon repeatedly, fertilizer doesn’t break down and travel to the roots effectively. Also, water will tend to pool up on the surface and evaporate rather than be drawn into the soil. Even if you fertilize and water, you may nitrogen burn the grass and leave it thirsty if the soil cannot absorb the application of these resources.
By “airing out” your grass through aeration, you reduce thatch and create a more inhospitable local environ for weeds, fungi, moss and pest species of insects to exploit. Aerating accomplishes these goals by punching through the thatch layer. A basic aeration will leave holes in the thatch in your lawn to reduce the amount of watering you need to do. The less standing water there is, the less time there is for pest species to exploit that water. If your lawn has never been de-thatched or aerated, it may need a power raking from a specialized tool that we also own, one that forcibly removes the worst of the dead legacy stems.
Aerating allows water to get directly to the roots of the grass. The deeper the water penetrates the soil, the more it encourages the development of deep roots. As you might suspect, the deeper the roots can tap water, the more drought resistance the grass possesses.
Fertilizer—The Follow Up To Aerating
Keeping grass green all summer requires water at the minimum, but also a professional fertilization this spring to feed the lawn perfectly.
With well-fed roots, grass will grow more numerous and thicker blades. With a thicker lawn appearing after you have opened up the old undergrowth beneath those blades, the grass creates its own shade, which keeps the water you apply to it from evaporating right back out on those hot days in late July.
Aerating and fertilizing is best done professionally for stellar results. Call us for a free quote today. And did you know that Mirage Landscaping can be found on both Facebook and Twitter? Find links to all of our handy tips or contact us for a spring clean up and way you like!