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Why Do I Need Lawn Aeration?

Posted by on May 28, 2019 in Lawn Care | 0 comments

It is likely that you do not know the meaning of “thatch” or “lawn aeration.” Do not worry, we are not making up a new or alien language, we are simply speaking the language of professional lawn care services that are dedicated to taking care of your yard.

In this post, I will explain some of the words that are thrown around by lawn care professionals. With some explanation, you can truly understand the need for lawn experts and their expertise on issues too advanced for the average home-owner.

What is thatch?

These guys use “thatch” to refer to the layer in a lawn that is comprised of dead clippings, rotting leaves, and debris. Thatch is in between the live, green grass and the deeper soil, full of nutrients for plants and vegetation.

Important to your understanding of these concepts is the fact that, usually, a deeper layer of thatch is worse for your lawn than a thinner layer. The detriment of thatch is primarily derived from the nature of thatch to act as a thorny obstacle. Thick thatch stands in the way of water reaching plant roots.

Insecticides or pesticides can also be prevented from soaking into the roots of plants and vegetation, getting caught up and remaining in the thatch layer. Fertilization efforts increase thatch because many fertilization products encourage root development — sometimes manifesting as thatch. These reasons and more are why companies like Midwest Lawn discuss options to take care of thatch or at least reduce its thickness.

What can be done about thatch?

Luckily, not all thatch is bad. A thin layer of thatch can be beneficial to temperature regulation on lawns (preventing freezing or desiccation and evaporation of nutrient-filled water). Moderating thatch thickness can also help with regular weeds removal. And for playing outside on your lawn, a small amount of thatch can be beneficial as a nice cushion — preventing hard blows to the knees or other extremities.

However, thatch does not often maintain itself naturally as a thin, beneficial layer. More often, thatch develops as an unruly part of a lawn that must be handled by lawn care experts through a process called lawn aeration.

Lawn aeration takes multiple forms, including simple aeration in which small holes are pushed through the top, superficial layers of grass. Supposedly, this helps “air out” the thatch layer and prevents water retention and other thatching issues. But experts doubt the utility of such a superficial operaion, and instead point to core aeration as a better solution to thatching problems.

In the process of core aeration, small holes are drilled into the thatch layer and “cores” of the layer are pulled out. Small squares, a few inches deep, of the soil are literally taken out of the lawn. By this, the thatch layer is decreased and the lawn is able to actually air out.

The issues with thatching are clear: reduced vegetation growth, pesticide retention, and an overall less healthy lawn. Cut to the chase and talk with a professional today about your lawn’s dethatching or lawn aeration options!

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