New Jersey Lawn Care News
New Jersey Lawn Care News
Early Fall Lawn Care Tip: Aeration, seeding, lime, watering, and Tree pests
Aerating your lawn is a great way to reduce thatch, loosen up compacted soils and make it easier for water and nutrients to reach the roots of your turf.
Even with the best care available, lawns can thin out and lose color due to excessive thatch buildup, too much foot traffic or pet traffic through specific areas that create hard or compacted soils, or periods of high temperature, high humidity, or drought. Aerifying and overseeding is recognized by turf experts such as golf course superintendents as the best treatment to control thatch, helps reduce those compacted areas, fills in bare spots and revitalize growth.
the two step process guaranteed to improve your lawn
An aeration treatment removes small cores of soil and thatch to allow air, moisture and nutrients to penetrate down to the root zone. The cores brought to the surface contain microorganisms, which help the breakdown of the woody thatch tissue layer just below the lawn's crown. As the thatch layer is broken down, it is converted into organic matter that will then combine with existing soil particles.
Also, as the cores begin to breakdown over a period of several weeks, the holes gradually fill in with a mixture of organic matter and soil, and the filled hole allows roots of existing grass plants to spread out and grow deeper, creating a healthier, thicker lawn.
Ideal time for Aeration
Because the aeration process is stressful on lawns, it should only be done during periods just before active growth is expected. For cool season grasses, those typically found in the northern half of the country, this would be in early spring or early fall, the 2 times of the year when cool season grasses really grow. During the hot summer months, cool season grasses really slow down in the growing department and this is not a good time to be aerating. If you're planning on aerating in the spring and you plan on using a crabgrass control product, you'll want to aerate before the pre-emergent application is made, which is as a rule around the time when forsythias first start blooming.
Overseeding in cool-season areas, will fill-in bare or thin spots and help build a thicker lawn faster. The new seed quickly takes root in the freshly aerated lawn and provides new life to your already established grass. As your lawn gets thicker and healthier, your new grass plants help reduce the chance of new weeds sprouting.
Slit-seeders are useful for lawn renovation projects. Slit-seeders combine vertical mowing with seeding. As the machine goes across the lawn, it opens the soil and deposits seed directly into the soil opening. Most slit-seeders have a roller that helps firm the soil after seeding. Seed is metered at a predetermined rate; it's suggested to apply half the desired seeding rate in one direction and the other half on a second pass perpendicular to the first.
Silt-seeding equipment is useful for lawn renovation.
Since the seed is placed in direct contact with the soil, seeding success is usually high when using slit-seeders. In addition, existing grass and debris does not need to be completely removed prior to the overseeding process. Timing should be the same as for conventional lawn seeding, which ideally would be late August into early September.
Sprinkler and watering systems:
Have your sprinkler system checked by a professional to insure all areas have proper coverage. It may be necessary to add sprinkler heads or more zones to cover all areas of the lawn.
Please contact us at 732-787-1488 for proper watering times and frequency this is based on soil structure and current weather conditions.
Applications of lime are often necessary to raise soil pH into a good growing range for turfgrasses. Generally speaking, most lawns prefer a soil that is nearly neutral, in the range of pH 6.5 to 7.2 (pH 7.0 is neutral) Soil pH tells you how "acid" the soil is. A lot of rainfall can make soil more acidic, since rain contains hydrogen. Some lawn fertilizers can make the soil more adidic, like the ones containing ammonium forms of nitrogen.
If soil pH is too low or high, nutrients already in the soil become unavailable. Adjusting the soil pH can have the same effect as fertilizing since it "releases" nutrients that were already there.
Fall is usually the recommended season for applying lime, due to the upcoming freeze-thaw cycle during winter assisting with lime's penetration into the soil.
Tree Pests: Dormant Oil
The primary way horticultural oil kills insects is by suffocating them. The oil blocks the spiracles through which insects breathe.
Hort oils also disrupt the metabolism of insect eggs and the ability of some insects to feed, causing them to starve to death. Not a pretty picture, but remember that insects, like aphids, carry diseases from plant to plant by feeding. Hort oils need to be sprayed directly on the pests, to be effective. The excess oil evaporates and dissipates quickly, so there is no toxic residue and horticultural oil is considered safe to use around humans and pets. Adelgids, aphids, caterpillar eggs, leafhoppers, mealybug, mites, scale, spider mites, thrips and whiteflies are the most common targets of horticultural oil.