Spring services will renew your lawn after a long hard winter and prepare it for the intense growing season ahead. These services are beneficial to any lawn.
One of the most beneficial lawn services in the spring for older lawns or those with dense clay soils is aeration. As lawns get older or experience heavy foot traffic, the soil becomes compacted. This closes soil pores and makes it difficult for oxygen, water and fertilizer to make it's way down to the grass roots. The roots are thereby robbed of these important elements required for good growth.
How Does It Work? The aerator pulls out plugs of soil leaving holes in the lawn for oxygen, fertilizer and water to enter. The holes loosen up the soil so that the grass roots can move more easily through it and in the process will thicken up. Raking up or removal of the plugs is NOT recommended as over time this will remove important topsoil and nutrients that are required for a good base for the grass. When this service is done along with a power rake, the dirt lumps are broken up by the power rake and will barely be visible on the lawn. The broken soil plugs will break down naturally and return to the lawn's base.
The above photo shows soil plugs that are pulled out when lawn is coreaerated.
Aerating allows water, oxygen and fertilizer to get down to the roots which helps grass roots thicken up and a sparse lawn to thrive.
POWER RAKING ~ DETHATCHING
Thatch is a layer of intermingled living and dead organic material made up of shoots, stems, leaves and roots that build up and sit in between the live grass blades and the soil layer.
This layer can prevent grass from absorbing enough water and fertilizer, resulting in dead spots or a patchy, yellow look to your lawn. Heavy thatch buildup is an ideal environment for insects and diseases, fungi, mold and bacteria. Thatch buildup and reduced aeration of the soil also results in shallow root systems.
During the winter months grass goes into a dormant state. Some of the last seasons blades die off from the sub zero temperatures and the accumulation of snow packs them down against the lawn's base.
Once the snow melts we are left with this thick layer of organic matter known as thatch. As the temperatures increase, new grass shoots try to reach the sun but have to struggle through the compact layer of thatch. If it is not removed the new grass will have difficulty growing through it.
During winter it is also common for voles to tunnel and live under the snow where they eat the grass and roots. In the spring you can sometimes see the damaging effects of their tunneling on the surface of the grass. *
How does it Work? The power rake is a commercial piece of equipment that has many rake teeth under it that spin at a very high speed. The teeth slice through the thatch laying on top of the soil. The machine is set to an appropriate height so that the blades just skim the surface of the soil which brings the thatch up to the surface of the grass. After the thatch is brought up it is then raked by hand and disposed of. We then go over the lawn with our commercial mowers to clean up any thatch or debris that is missed by hand raking and to give it a nicely groomed appearance.
When done properly by an experienced lawn care professional, power raking DOES NOT DAMAGE your lawn. It does not pull out healthy grass -- it only removes the thatch that lays on top of the soil. To safely remove thatch it is very important that the thatch and soil is dry. So no watering the lawn prior to a power rake service.
Healthy Grass vs. Unhealthy Grass with thatch buildup.
The above photo shows the power rake bringing up thatch from a dormant lawn in the spring.
The above photo shows lawn damage from voles living under the snow and tunneling in the lawn during winter. Power raking will clean this up so your lawn can start to recover from the damage.
Proper fertilizer use is one of the most important factors in maintaining a good lawn. In the spring when your lawn "wakes up" from winter dormancy, it is hungry. Hungry for the nutrients it needs to start growing again. It requires nitrogen to promote top growth, phosphorus to help root growth and potassium to promote cell function and absorption of trace elements. Regular fertilizer applications (especially in the spring) will help to thicken the lawn and aid in choking out weed growth and disease. A well fed lawn is healthy, lush and green.
The above photo shows spring fertilizer being applied to a lawn that was aerated only. Notice the plugs of soil remaining on the lawn.
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