Compacted soil is one of the leading causes of lawn problems in Georgia. Compacted soil occurs when your yard is used frequently from either walking or driving on it. When soil is compacted, it becomes so dense that it can no longer hold water, oxygen, or other nutrients that your grass needs to survive. The result is, your grass becomes weak and things out, paving the way for weeds to take its place.
Often you can tell that your soil is compacted by looking for the signs. But sometimes compacted soil can be confused for other lawn problems. Being able to identify compacted soil will help you save time and money.
Standing water can be a sign of poor drainage or more commonly, soil compaction. A sure sign of compact soil is puddles lingering long after it rains or after your water your grass. Standing water can pose a problem to homeowners because they can attract mosquitoes and become a breeding ground.
That isn’t actually a symptom of soil compaction but it can contribute to it. Thatch is just the name for the layer of organic matter that settles between the soil and grass. You can tell if your yard has too much thatch by how it feels when you walk on it. Thatch will make your grass feel squishy or spongy. Over time, this layer can become so thick that it can prevent water from penetrating.
When your soil is too hard to dig through, there are not many options left at your disposal. The only solution at this point is to get your yard aerated. Aeration is a process that uses a machine to punch thousands of holes into your yard, busting up thatch and loosening up the soil. The results of core aeration are almost immediate. Now that water and air can flow back into your lawn’s roots, you will see a significant improvement in color and thickness. Aeration also benefits your lawn by fixing bare spots and preventing weeds.
After your lawn has been aerated it’s a good time to get it overseeded as well. Overseeding is the blending of new grass types into your existing lawn. The benefit of living in a transition zone means you can use a mixture of warm and cool-season grass types to make your turf more resilient to pests, diseases, and drought.
The right time to aerate your lawn depends on the type of grass you have. There are two different types of grasses out there; warm-season and cool-season. You want to aerate your lawn during the growing season of your grass. Geographically speaking, Georgia sits on a transition zone, which means that both warm and cool grass types can be used on lawns.
Cool-season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fescues, and bentgrass. These grasses grow when temperatures are cool during the spring and fall.
Warm-season grasses include Bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipede, and St. Augustine. These grasses do their growing in the summer and go dormant in the fall and winter.
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