Lawn Aeration and Over-seeding – An important part of the overall health of a lawn is the soil condition. Most of the yards around Northeast Ohio have hard compacted soil. This compaction does not allow the roots of the grass to grow freely, and also restricts the movement of water. Even with irrigation or wet weather such as this year, the compacted soil will cause the water to run off leaving the roots of the lawn dry.
Another factor in the root health is the thatch layer. The thatch is the layer of organic material between the grass and the soil. It is comprised of grass clippings, stems, leaves and other matter. Overtime this layer will build thicker and thicker and will begin to choke the lawn. Thatch can constrict the movement of oxygen, water, and evaporation. This can cause a lawn difficulty when trying to move and make its food. The trapped moisture in the thatch layer will contribute to fungi and diseases that can damage the lawn.
The best way to fix and prevent these problems is to have the lawn aerated at least once per year. With aeration, 2-3 inch deep plugs are pulled from the soil and then left on top. This breaks up the compaction of the soil as well as the thatch layer. Oxygen and water is then able to move freely throughout the plant and the roots are able to grow freely.
After aeration is done, it is also recommended to over seed with a high quality mixture of bluegrass, rye, and fescues depending on the environment of your lawn. This seed will germinate since the soil is broken up by the aeration. Introducing new and/or better varieties of seed to your lawn will help with the health, thickness, color, and may be resistant to certain insects and diseases.