Aeration | Overseeding
Improving Your Turf Quality
BCLS Landscape Services of Central Virginia
Improving Your Turf Quality with Aeration and Overseeding for Central Virginia Lawns…
With its extensive below-ground root system and its above-ground network of plant material, Turfgrass offers under-appreciated environmental benefits, such as removing dust and pollutants, reducing soil erosion, and filtering water.
When turf and commercial lawns are new, maintenance is basic: mowing, fertilizing, and irrigation, with little need for weed control or other management practices. However, as turf areas age, growth patterns change, and roots from maturing trees encroach on lawn areas, competing for available water and nutrients. As a result, heavily-used areas become compacted, leading to thin turf and exposed soil.
To counteract the effects that compaction, insufficient water, heat, and age have on the health of the turf and commercial lawns, BCLS Landscape recommends core aeration, a process performed in early fall, followed by overseeding – broadcasting new grass seed throughout the turf with a spreader – and fertilization. This 3-step protocol will improve soil, bring in air, water and micro-nutrients, allow turf seed to germinate during cooler weather, and boost root growth for healthier landscapes overall.
Our process includes 3 steps…
BCLS Landscape Services uses an array of equipment to add air and space to your lawn. First, the aerator’s pull-out plugs of soil (cores) from the turf, approximately ¾ inches in diameter and up to 4 inches deep, about 2-3 inches apart across the turf area treated.
Sometimes aerating, double aerating – even triple aerating – opens up clumps of grass in different directions, which creates an explosion in growth at the crown and introduces oxygen, water, and fertilizer straight into the root zone via core aeration. The plugs will break down naturally, and the holes will start to fill in with new roots, indicating that soil and root health is already improving.
BCLS Landscape Services uses region-friendly, cool-season grass blends that contain tall fescue grass designed especially for prevalent conditions in Central Virginia. Advancements in turf science allow us to provide our customers with good options. Fescues are far the most durable grass types for the weather, including drought, high heat, and humidity. Tall fescue, which is used extensively in the transition region which the Central Virginia part of, is low-maintenance, heat-tolerant, cool-season grass with fine to medium blade texture. Its deep roots deliver drought and heat protection. In the Central Virginia climatic zone, tall fescue can add season-long color to our turf.
While not always used, BCLS Landscape Services will sometimes recommend using soil amendments and soil conditioners to soil improve turf health and growth. The right mix of soil, compost, or soil improvement additives will help improve soil structure, balance soil pH, supply nutrients, and reinvigorate root health. Compost and organic matter used as a top dressing will also increase beneficial microbial activity. Gypsum, a naturally occurring mineral and a source of calcium and sulfur, is often added when soil stability and improved filtration are needed and is excellent for root growth and a healthier soil profile. Synthetic fertilizers kill off the soil flora and can create more problems down the road.
When is the right time?
BCLS Landscape Services recommends aerating turf once a year, in the fall, although depending on soil conditions and turfgrass health. Aeration is most often part of residential and commercial landscape management programs in Central Virginia. We will cut your turf lower than it typically cut; we then aerate and seed and will not cut again for several weeks thereafter. We will either program your controller to allow for more frequent lighter watering to help the seed germinate or guide you on how to do that yourself.
We offer comprehensive commercial landscaping and property management services
for HOA’s, Apartment Homes and Multi-Family communities throughout all of Central Virginia
Interested in learning more about our Turf and Lawn Management Services?
Contact us at (804) 752-0052