Core aeration gives your lawn’s roots a boost

Who doesn’t like a beautiful green lawn? We aim for a lush look, sometimes at the expense of the grass roots. But now is the time to take care of them, because a healthy root system is a must for an attractive lawn.

Oxygen in the soil is vital for strong roots. Kansas City’s heavy clay and compacted soils often inhibit root growth. Core aeration improves rooting and problem soils without destroying the turf. Now is the time to perform this important task.

Core aeration provides several benefits. It helps break up compaction of the soil caused by construction or traffic such as walking or kids playing. This miracle process also reduces the buildup of thatch, improves water and nutrient infiltration and adds oxygen while releasing carbon dioxide. All of these things encourage roots to push deeper into the soil.

The machines are slightly larger than a lawn mower and can be rented from many nurseries, hardware stores or rental agencies for a nominal fee. Commercial grounds maintenance firms also provide this service. Running a machine is comparable to using a rototiller.

Aeration on bluegrass and tall fescue lawns is best done September through October. Spring is also acceptable. For heavily compacted lawns, fall and spring aeration may be required. Be sure the soil is moist to get the maximum benefit. Dry soil will inhibit the hollow tines from penetrating the soil.

Core aeration provides maximum benefit if it is done yearly. The holes made in the soil should be about 3 inches apart and 3 inches deep. The tines make holes about  3/4 inch in diameter. Several passes in different…

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