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Benefits of Aerating Clay Rich Soil

Lawn aerationLawn care in the Mid-Cities, and throughout the Metroplex, can be challenging due to the clay rich soil prevalent in the area. Clay dirt can be highly fertile, but in the winter months it can retain too much moisture and become water logged. In hotter temperatures, it cracks and creates clods. It can also  become compressed and compacted anytime of year through watering, rain, lawn mowing, or excessive use. Over time, oxygen, water, and nutrients can be prevented from reaching the lawn's roots.

Signs of a compacted lawn are:

  • - Puddling water
  • - Slow water infiltration
  • - Surface water runoff after watering or rain
  • - Trees with shallow roots
  • - Plants and other vegetation with stunted growth

One of the best ways to combat compressed soil is through aeration. Aeration is a process which creates small holes in the dirt to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the topsoil to reach the roots of the lawn. It can be done through spiking the ground or using equipment that creates holes and removes some dirt at the same time. For the best results in clay soil, some dirt should be removed when holes are made rather than just spiking which can compact the sides of the holes even further. 

To combat heavy clods of clay dirt, Texas A & M horticulturists suggest putting down compost immediately after aerating and then watering to help the compost filter down into the holes. This will still allow air to flow and by adding organic matter, the structure of the ground will eventually be improved and more manageable. This will also help create a stronger root system and result in a more healthy, vibrant lawn.

Aerating can be done annually, but the best time of year to aerate is based on the type of grass you have. For cool season grasses, early fall or spring is good. For warm season grasses, aerating should be done in late spring. Some high traffic areas may need to be done more than once a year.

Benefits to aerating are:

  • - Improved air exchange
  • - Water penetration more deeply and evenly throughout the lawn
  • - Reduction of water runoff and puddling
  • - Nutrients like fertilizers or herbicides can be distributed more evenly       
  • - Results in a stronger root system
  • - Allows grass and soil to tolerate the hot summers better  
  • - Improves overall resiliency
  • - Enhanced thatch breakdown
All Seasons Landcare has the expert knowledge and the proper equipment to aerate any type of lawn. Many satisfied customers in Hurst, Euless, Bedford, and other cities have lawn aeration done by All Seasons every year and rely on All Seasons to keep their lawns healthy and looking their best.

This article is ©2015 All Seasons Landcare • All Rights Reserved

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