Today we will figure out why aeration of the lawn is needed, what it is, in general, when, and most importantly, how to carry it out.
What tricks gardeners do not go to to give their emerald green lawns more gloss. Regular haircuts and daily watering are little things. True fans of the grass cover do not stop at them, but continue to apply more advanced care technologies.
Some of these models are sometimes purchased for lawn maintenance in private suburban areas. Structurally, they repeat the principle of mechanical drum, but have incomparably higher performance. There are aerators powered by the mains - their advantages are obvious: environmental friendliness, low noise level and quite high power. The disadvantage is also known - the range is limited by the length of the cable to the power source. Battery models are more autonomous, but require constant battery charging.
The most powerful of these machines is gasoline. Their disadvantages are also known - problems with fuel and a lot of noise. Specialized aerators of this type have significant productivity, therefore they are often used in agriculture or when servicing large areas. On country lawns, such units, which outwardly resemble tractors, are rarely used. For small areas, more versatile machines are generally used that combine several functions.
In order for the silky grass of the lawn to please the eye throughout the summer, from early spring it is necessary to carry out a whole range of measures, the main of which are: top dressing, combing, aeration, weeding, advises if.by expert, candidate of agricultural sciences Vladimir Tereshchuk.
Sowing and roll lawns respond equally well to early fertilization with nitrogen fertilizers, which should be applied immediately after the snow melts. Nitrogen in combination with phosphorus and potassium gives the growing grass strength, so feeding can be done even before the first shoots appear.
In leaving, the sequence and timeliness of all the necessary types of work is important. There is a seasonal division of work in the garden and this is also directly related to the lawn. Spring works are:
Verticulation and combing
You can add melting snow leveling, ice splitting, and more to this list. But these works are more likely to be winter care and should be carried out before the onset of warmth. Since we did not have snow this year, all the standard and generally accepted terms for the care of all crops have partially shifted. The same applies to lawn care. When should spring maintenance work be done and where to start?
In fact, melted snow is not a significant sign of starting work. Warm and dry ground will be the start. To do this, you need to monitor the temperature. If the thermometer is above 0 ° C for several weeks, then lawn care after winter can be safely implemented. Usually this period occurs by the end of March and beginning of April.
The very first and natural step is cleaning. Large debris and fallen branches are removed from trees. Then the more challenging spring lawn care work after winter begins, which requires care, diligence and experience.
1. Verticulation and combing
In early spring, when young greens are just beginning to break through, the remnants of dry leaves, last year's grass, dead stems and roots are very clearly visible. All these clusters form a rather dense dry mass (lawn felt). The thickness of the layer of such felt sometimes reaches more than 1.5 cm and creates a lot of problems for the lawn:
Interferes with the growth of young stems
Prevents the penetration of water and oxygen into the soil
Hinders the access of applied fertilizers
Mushroom spores develop in the turf, diseases are connected
· A favorable environment for the growth of moss is formed.
As a result, grass growth slows down, bald patches appear, which are quickly filled with weeds. To avoid such prospects, special lawn care after winter is necessary, which includes verticulation and combing.
Scars are used to remove the lawn felt. They come in manual, electric and petrol (verticutters). If the lawn is well-groomed, young and small, then a hand-held verticulator or garden rake is sufficient. For the scarification of large or neglected lawns, where no spring maintenance work has been carried out at all, you need to use more powerful tools.
The procedure itself is cutting (scratching) the soil to a depth of 2 - 6 cm, depending on the age of the sod. Furrows are laid in rows or staggered, which also depends on the age and thickness of the lawn felt. After verticulation, the remains removed to the surface must be combed out, removed and discarded. It is undesirable to use the extracted sod for compost, as it often forms fungal spores and mold.
The lawn looks scary right after scoring, but don't be intimidated. This post-winter lawn care is excellent for cleansing the turf and revitalizing grass growth. After a couple of weeks, the result will be pleasantly surprised.
2. Aeration - enriching the lawn with oxygen
The essence of the measures is to ensure that the roots of the grass receive more oxygen. Spring lawn care works associated with aeration for heavy and poorly ventilated soils are very valuable: clay soils and heavy loams. For this, the soil is pierced 10-15 cm deep at short intervals. This loosens the soil and allows oxygen to penetrate deeper balls. As a result, it significantly improves the nutrition and growth of herbs.
· Forks. In small areas.
· Spiked boots for larger work.
· Aerators. On sale there are manual, electric and gasoline.
Gasoline is usually used for very large areas, and electric ones are suitable for adjacent areas. They are quieter and more comfortable to work in the confined spaces of small gardens.
Caring for a rolled lawn after the winter season is practically no different from caring for an ordinary lawn - it also needs to be combed out, fed, aerated.
3. Sanding. When is it needed?
Sanding is a uniform sprinkling of the lawn with special sand mixtures or sand (up to 0.5 cm). The free-flowing substrate easily fills the grooves and punctures in the soil resulting from scarifying and aeration. Due to its looseness and ability to pass water well, sand has a positive effect on the structure of the soil. It becomes lighter and more airy. In order for lawn care after winter to show its best results, sanding should be carried out exclusively after scarification and aeration. This will improve the permeability and porosity of the soil, create conditions for enhanced growth of the grass root system and regrowth of new shoots. The sand should be dry and clean, with a grain size of about 0.8 mm. For sanding work, use a shovel, rake and garden wheelbarrow.
4. Felling - the most spring care
Felling is carried out once a year - in the spring. This is due to the fact that after winter temperatures the earth seems to swell. Irregularities appear on the square: depressions and shafts. This state of land leveling leads to uneven distribution of moisture, the formation of puddles after irrigation or rain. In such places, the grass burns out or rots (depending on weather conditions), bald patches appear, the aesthetics and healthy state of the grass cover are lost. Therefore, spring work on the care of the lawn is included in the "mandatory" felting procedure. The main thing is not to overdo it, so as not to get unnecessary compaction of the soil. For work, special shafts are used:
Manual: weight from 70 to 150 kg
· Trailed: weight from 250 - 420 kg.
Trailer shafts are used for large areas and are attached to tractors. For outdoor lawns, manual ones are used with a length of 1 m and a weight of 300 kg. During operation, it is necessary to move at a uniform pace, without long stops, without leaving the shaft in one place and avoiding sharp turns. Failure to do so may result in pinpoint soil compaction or damage to growing sod.
5. Sowing with grass mixtures and repairing the lawn cover
In order for the lawn to grow evenly, you need to follow the rules for planting it. You should be especially careful in a large area, because bald spots on the site will not look very beautiful
It is important to choose quality seeds for your lawn. Before planting, you should thoroughly loosen the soil, apply fertilizers so that the lawn sprouts better. After the surface is added with a roller and watered regularly
After carrying out all the above measures, lawn care after winter goes into the repair stage. To do this, you need to carefully inspect the area of the lawn, noting the places in which the glades have formed. Affected areas can be regenerated in two ways:
In the first case, it is necessary to cut out the not surviving part of the turf and replace it with a new one. This method gives a quick and very effective result. The only condition is regular watering until the new grass takes root.
The second method is cheaper, more troublesome, but after a few weeks the result will be clearly visible. To do this, you need to buy ready-made lawn grass mixtures or compose them yourself in the appropriate proportion. The repair of the turf brings the lawn care after winter to its final stage and the effect will largely depend on the quality of these final activities. The process itself is simple and consists of several steps:
The remains of sod in the problematic part are carefully cut out
Soil is added to the formed part
· The earth is rolled with a shaft or any other "old-fashioned" method: plywood, rake board.
Overseeding areas require daily, moderate watering before germination and the first two haircuts.
We sow the empty areas on the lawn. If you see withered grasses or bald patches on your lawn, then you need to sow the lawn in these areas. First you need to: level the area, roll it in with a roller or tamp it with boards, loosen the top layer and sow a mixture of lawn grasses; the seed rate for overseeding is 50-60% of the initial sowing rate
Align the bumps. Bumps can form due to the heterogeneity of the soil and its uneven moisture in winter. When caring for the lawn in early spring, they should not be left on the lawn, as they will spoil its appearance. Even a rolled lawn can “bubble” after winter. Roller compaction of the lawn helps to get rid of bubbles and bumps.
We use grass mixtures suitable for this type of site. The composition of the mixtures includes specific subspecies that have different natural requirements, grouped by the rate of growth and development, different reactions to stress factors. For example, if there is partial shade on the plot, then it is necessary to sow a grass mixture with a predominance of red fescue or meadow bluegrass. Branded packages usually indicate the purpose of the grass mixture (lawn - "universal", "for shaded areas", "parterre").
Nutrition: The Basics The first spring lawn care work should start with top dressing. Some gardeners recommend spreading fertilizer over the melting snow. This is not very effective, since half of them will be carried out of the soil with melt water. Be patient, wait until the soil warms up to 10 ° C and then feed the grass with nitrogen fertilizers at the rate of 0.5 kg per 1 hundred square meters (this corresponds to 1.2 kg of carbamide or 1.5 kg of ammonium nitrate).
Our advice: It is not justified to use complex fertilizers in early spring, which contain, in addition to nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, trace elements. They are best applied in early May. If the weather is dry outside, then after feeding, you need to water the lawn so that the fertilizers dissolve well and do not burn the plants.
Any lawn, both rolled and sown, needs to be fed at least three times a season. Immediately after the onset of a stable positive temperature regime and the disappearance of snow cover, complex fertilizers are applied to the soil with a lawn - from nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The lawn, even if it grows in poor soil and suffers from a lack of nutrition, is easy to restore with regular feeding. They usually begin to feed the lawn on the melting snow in the spring. It is better to divide the first feeding into two "portions" (for example, 0.6 kg of carbamide per hundred square meters) and add them at intervals of a week. The fertilizer mixture must be evenly distributed over the entire lawn. For this it is better to use a hand sprayer. In the spring and summer, a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content is needed to stimulate the growth of the grass. It is applied from mid-spring to late summer at the rate of 30 g per m2. ”From mid-summer, phosphate is needed to strengthen the root feeding system every 2 weeks (double superphosphate at the rate of 40-45 g / m2) And necessarily - potash fertilizers to increase frost resistance. For example, potash nitrate at the rate of 30-35 g / m2.
Typically, the fertilizer application rate is indicated on the packages. It is best to do this before the grass begins to grow. If greenery has already appeared, then make sure that the lawn does not burn out from fertilizers under the influence of the sun. In this case, it is best to water the lawn with water to dissolve the pellets faster. You can scatter fertilizers manually, but this is laborious and, most likely, it will turn out unevenly. In this case, it is better to use a multi-row mechanical seeder - this will save time and you can adjust the rate of consumption. The seeder is made of a box with a holder on wheels at the bottom of the box there are holes, the size of the holes can be adjusted.
After fertilization, the lawn should be watered generously to avoid "burning out" of young greenery.
The preferred times for aeration are autumn and spring. In autumn, the average daytime temperature drops and after airing the grass can rest well. Rainy autumn weather encourages the formation of new roots in the grass before the onset of frost. Aeration of the lawn can also be carried out in early spring.
At the same time, along with loosening the surface layer, fallen leaves, yellowed grass and moss are removed. How often to aerate depends on the condition of the lawn. It is usually sufficient to ventilate the lawn once or twice a year.
If the lawn is used not only for aesthetic pleasure, as a design element, but also as an active playground, then aeration should be done several times per season, depending on the state of the grass cover. In summer, an area with a highly compacted lawn must be aerated every 1.5 months.
For aeration of lawns, verticutters, scarifiers and ferticulators are used, which can be simple mechanical, electric or gasoline. They are knives fixed on a shaft and rotating at high speed.
These knives cut into the ground and grass roots to a depth of 3-5 mm. At the same time, the roots are trimmed, old roots, weeds and felt (litter from dry grass) are collected in a waste bin. On some aerators, hollow tubular knives are installed, which, penetrating into the soil, grab it with a tube, and then throw it onto the surface of the lawn, where it decomposes.
In simpler aerators, the knives are not tubular, but in the form of sharp thorns that pierce holes in the soil.These knives are usually mounted on mechanical hand aerators designed for small lawns. The simplest aerator for small areas of the lawn can serve as an ordinary sharpened rake.
But special devices with sharp hollow spikes, which are worn over everyday shoes, will bring more benefits to the lawn. They can be purchased inexpensively in specialized stores "Gardener", and among other things, ventilate the lawn, moving around it, for example, during games.
High-quality electric and gasoline aerators with high performance are not cheap and are designed for treating large lawns. Since they are usually used in private estates only 1-2 times per season, it is more profitable not to buy them, but to rent them in large farms.
Aeration - lawn care promotes healthy plant growth, which is sure to turn a garden lawn into a beautiful green island for relaxation and entertainment.
Video: Aeration - Lawn Care
In order to perform the ventilation process efficiently, it is necessary to choose the right tool for aerating the lawn. Suitable devices can be purchased, but methods at hand can also be used. For example, a pitchfork or a fan rake allows you to make high-quality punctures in the ground (up to 10 cm deep). But this method is relevant for small areas, since it is quite difficult to manually process huge areas, and the process itself will take a lot of time.
A popular lawn aeration device is a rake aerator. They do not have pins, in their place are steel rods that have the shape of a sickle. Using this type of rake allows you to easily cut the soil in a horizontal direction, comb out dead grass that interferes with the flow of oxygen and moisture. You can buy such a device at a gardening store.
Summer residents also prefer to buy special nozzles for shoes for aerating the lawn. For example, special shoes or sandals with vertical spikes on the sole are often found. The shoes are put on over the usual ones, after which the summer resident can simply walk on the lawn grass, carefully piercing it.
For large areas, it would be better to purchase special devices for processing grass. They can be powered by electricity or gasoline. When choosing, one should start from financial capabilities, the size of the area with lawn grass.
Do-it-yourself aeration of the lawn is an important process in the care of the garden. Correct implementation of the procedure guarantees a beautiful, healthy, green herb that can be enjoyed for more than one year.