With summer well underway, your lawn may already be beginning to droop. In Alberta, it’s not unusual for the hot, dry weather to turn your lawn brown and dormant after just a few short weeks of green. While this summer has offered lots of rain so far, it’s not unlikely that we’ll see drought conditions before long. So as you turn to more labour intensive lawn care options for keeping your yard thriving into August, you may be wondering whether dethatching or aeration will help your yard more.
Dethatching is the manual removal of the dead and partially decayed plant matter (thatch) that has built up around your grass’s roots.
Aeration is the manual process of removing plugs of soil and thatch from your turf. Aeration reduces the thatch layer and soil compaction.
Most of this thatch will be made up of dead turfgrass, and it’s important to remember your lawn needs some thatch to be healthy. Just under an inch of thatch or about two centimetres is ideal for giving your turf some comfort underfoot and your soil resilience against gales. However, when too much thatch has collected, it begins to cause problems. Water can get trapped in the thatch layer instead of being absorbed by the soil. Your lawn also needs fresh air to reach the roots of your grass, and too much thatch can prevent that as well.
In general, the average Calgary homeowner will benefit more from aeration than dethatching. Dethatching is an intensive and invasive practice that can injure your lawn. It should only be used as a last resort when the thatch layer has reached 3 inches or more than 7 cms. If dethatching is necessary, schedule your Calgary landscaping team to come dethatch for early autumn 2019 or even for next spring. Even when done correctly by an experienced team, dethatching is stressful for your lawn, and it shouldn’t be done in the dead of summer.
Aeration is less stressful for your lawn. Removing plugs of soil and thatch helps to prevent continued thatch build up and reduces soil compaction — both important for establishing a healthy yard. If you have less than 3 inches of thatch (but more than 1 inch), aerating in both spring and fall will help to gently reduce the thatch layer. Once it reaches the recommended 1 inch depth, you can begin aerating once annually (or even once every couple of years) to maintain a healthy thatch layer.
As with dethatching, the best time for aeration is early spring or early fall. These are the times of year when cool-weather grass is in its growth cycle. Which gives it the best advantage for filling in the plugs that your Calgary landscaper removes during the aeration process.
Is your lawn looking a little under the weather? A professional Calgary landscaper can do a lot more than just dethatch or aerate. While both of these services are better scheduled for early fall, our lawn experts can start helping your lawn today. For a lush, green lawn that’s thriving, healthy, and beautiful, call the landscaping professionals at Five Star landscaping today.