Spring Lawn Care in Georgia and The Low Country

[fa icon="calendar"] Tue, 05/17/2016 - 11:31 / by Lynn Tootle

Lawn Aeration and Spring Lawn CareGood spring lawn care in Savannah is more than just dusting off the mower.   If you want your grass to thick and green throughout spring and summer, you should start thinking about cultivating your soil.
All plants  thrive when soil is cultivated.  So let’s talk about how to get that done in Spring.  There are there are really three things to think about for soil cultivation: aeration, verticutting, and topdressing.
 

Aeration

Turfgrass aeration is probably the single most important thing you can do for soil cultivation. This is especially true for hard, compacted soils like sports turf.  Turf can get compacted a number of ways.   Foot traffic is probably the most common source of soil compaction, but  large mowing equipment can also cause compaction if mowers repeatedly follow the same mowing patterns.  Soil compaction can occurs on sandy as well as clay soil and anything in between.
 
Soil compaction will destroy the structure of the soil and make it impossible for grass and other plants to get the water they need.  It can lead to run off and erosion problems, insufficient air to root systems, root loss and  a host of other maladies.  Over time compaction will lead to a weeds and lot of other undesirable lawn pasts.
 
Aerification or lawn aeration is the solution for lawn compaction.  It involves punching small holes in the soil through the turf. These holes  allow water and air to reach the root zone.  This leads to a healthier root system and lets soil dry out better after heavy rains or over irrigation. Over time the result will be much healthier grass.
 

Topdressing

Topdressing  is the process of applying a small layer of sand, compost or a sand/compost mix over your lawn.  Topdressing will help even out small areas that are not level due to poor soil preparation or poorly installed sod. Working topdressing  into the turf enable beneficial microbes to enter  the thatch layer. They will help to reduce excess thatch naturally adding another benefit to your topdressing.
 
Topdressing  should be done during the summer for warm-season grasses.  These turfs will need to grow up  through the topdressing.  Cool-season grasses should be topdressed in the spring and fall.  Avoid topdressing cool-season grasses during the stress of summer heat.
 
The best topdressing material for your site will vary based on your existing soil type and what you are trying to accomplish with your top dressing activity. Sand is sometimes used on clay soils after a good aerification to fill in the holes made by the aerification. This may improve drainage in some situations over time. If you want to add organics to the thatch layer  to naturally reduce thatch, a well decomposed compost would be appropriate.
 
Be careful when selecting a topdressing mix. Heavy topdressing can create a layered soil causing reduced soil permeability and poor water infiltration into the turf root zone. If you are confused with which type of topdressing material to use, contact a qualified lawn care professional at Gro-Masters Lawn Care Service.

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Topics: lawn care, Spring Lawn Care

Lynn Tootle

Written by Lynn Tootle

K. Lynn Tootle is the General Manager of GroMasters Inc., a division of TideWater Landscape Management Inc. Lynn is a certified arborist and turf grass professional, a past president of the Coastal Landscape and Turf Professional Association and a graduate of the Urban Ag Leadership program. He graduated from Clemson University in 1999 with a BS in Wildlife Biology and a minor in Forest Resources.

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