Whether your lawn is healthy or struggling, you can help it thrive with a little summer maintenance. Aerate, dethatch and fertilize your lawn each year to ensure its optimal health.
Aerating helps bring air to the soil and reduces soil compaction. According to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Website, soil compaction results from home construction, foot traffic, and sprinkler irrigation or rain. It restricts the movement of air and water through the soil, limiting root growth. By aerating your lawn, you allow oxygen, nutrients and moisture down into the root area. Aerating requires a specific machine, which looks something like a lawnmower but has spikes which dig small, evenly-spaced holes throughout your lawn. You can choose to rent an aerator and do the work yourself, or hire a professional to do the work for you.
Thatch is another term for dead turf grass, according to www.landscaping.about.com. When you dethatch, you remove that layer of dead grass from your lawn. Doing so helps stimulate root growth and allows your lawn to grow fuller and healthier. You can remove dead grass by raking deeply, however, a dethatcher -- or power rake -- will dethatch your lawn more efficiently and thoroughly.
Fertilizing should be the third and final component to your annual lawn maintenance routine. Soil loses nutrients to grasses and plants as they grow, as well as through runoff and erosion. To ensure your lawn has the nutrients it requires to be healthy, it’s best to fertilize it several times a year. In Summit County, with its short summer season, it’s not necessary to fertilize more than twice a year – once in the early summer and again in late August or September. As you purchase the fertilizer for your lawn, consider that organic or natural fertilizers release nutrients slowly into the ground, as opposed to chemical fertilizers, which are short-lived. The resulting increase in soil organisms, and the byproducts of organic materials breaking down, can add to the health of your soil.
These annual maintenance practices, along with regular watering throughout the summer, will help you achieve and maintain a healthy lawn.