The Top 2 Ways to Maintain Healthy Grass Without Chemicals
A lush, green lawn is a homeowner’s pride and joy. After all, what is a castle without beautiful grounds to stroll through? Unfortunately, there are a few things that can keep your grass from being as green and healthy as it could be. Weed control and fertilizing are both important to the health of your lawn, but neither will address the one thing that could be strangling your lawn: thatch.
WHAT IS LAWN THATCH?
Thatch is a layer of dead grass that rests between your grass and the soil. In small amounts, thatch is helpful—it breaks down into organic matter that will provide nutrients for your grass. But left too long, a thick layer of thatch can build up, suffocating your lawn and making it difficult for water and air to penetrate to the roots of your grass. In addition, thatch harbors insects and disease. If your lawn has more than a half-inch of thatch, you’ll start to see it struggling despite weeding and regular feedings.
HOW TO MAINTAIN HEALTHY GRASS WITHOUT CHEMICALS
Thatch can be penetrated two different ways, and the method you choose depends on what your lawn needs. In places where the grass is heavily traveled, like footpaths (or where vehicles pass through) the soil and thatch can become very compacted. This can result in water run-off and requires aeration to allow the air and water to more easily penetrate the soil.
When the culprit in your lawn simply a heavy layer of thatch, a simple de-thatching will take care of your problem. To tell which service you need, examine your lawn. If you can’t easily drive a screwdriver into your lawn, your soil is too compacted and needs to be aerated. If instead your lawn feels spongy and you can’t reach the soil with your finger, you’ve got too much thatch built up. You may determine that you need aeration in a couple of areas, and dethatching in the rest of the lawn.
WHAT IS AERATION? WHEN SHOULD I AERATE MY LAWN?
Core aeration, coring, or aerifying all refer to the use of a machine to pull up cylindrical plugs of soil from your lawn. This allows the soil to loosen and provides space for water and air to reach your grass roots.
Aeration should be done when your grass is strongest. This is early spring or fall for cool-season grasses or late spring/early summer for warm-season grasses. If your lawn is heavily trafficked or your soil is very heavy, you’ll want to aerate once a year. If your grass is growing pretty well or your soil is sandy, you could go 2-3 years between aeration services.
WHAT IS LAWN DE-THATCHING? WHEN SHOULD I DE-THATCH MY LAWN?
De-thatching is the process of pulling up the thick layer of thatch using a special de-thatching rake or a vertical cutter (a special machine—like a power rake—also known as a de-thatcher). When the de-thatching is done properly, the thatch should visibly pull up and away from the soil. It should then be disposed of.
De-thatching should also be done when the grass is strongest—spring or fall for the type of cool-season grass often found in Minnesota, or late spring, early summer for warm-season grass. Your lawn should be moderately moist before de-thatching. Fertilizing your grass after dethatching will help strengthen your lawn.
HOW MUCH DOES DE-THATCHING COST?
EnJay Property Maintenance offers de-thatching to be added on as part of Spring clean-up as long as the ground is not too soft and for those with annual property maintenance contracts. When combined with trimming, leaf removal, mowing, and edging, we can provide you with a well-rounded lawn service designed to increase the curb appeal of your home or business property and keep it looking its best. These services can also be booked individually. Prices are dependent upon the size of the yard, amount of work to be done, and other variable factors.
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The EnJay service area primarily includes cities in Dakota and Scott counties and parts of Carver, Ramsey, and Hennepin counties. However our company is expanding into new areas all the time; please call to see if we’re in your neighborhood yet!