Aeration: The Key to Beautiful Turf in Florida
Build dense, green turf that will be the talk of the town with core aeration.
Although Florida doesn’t experience winters quite the same way as other parts of the country, winter dormancy and cooler weather tends to restrict root growth in many warm season turfs. Not to mention, warm season grasses shed much of their root system as they transition from dormancy to active growth. So, what's the secret to achieving the lush, dense turf everyone desires come springtime? One word: Aeration.
Spring aeration allows your turf to grow strong, vigorous roots for the upcoming summer season by increasing air flow to the soil, improving fertilizer effectiveness, and maximizing water absorption. And of all the things that contribute to a lush lawn, core aeration is most effective when paired with a proper irrigation plan.
What is Aeration?
Core aeration removes plugs of roots and thatch from the soil. Thatch is a layer of dead and decomposing grass material that inhibits plant vigor. Removing some of this thatch allows better penetration of air, water and nutrients into the soil profile. It also reduces compaction caused by pedestrian and equipment traffic.
How Does Aeration Work?
Aeration removes thousands of plugs of soil from the turf and deposits them above the thatch. As the plugs break down, soil mixes with the thatch and speeds up the natural process of decomposition. The growth pockets created when the aeration cores are removed put food and water in easy reach of turf roots.
The root system of the grass grows toward these pockets and becomes deeper and stronger. Core aeration allows the soil to expand which means roots can penetrate deeper and further. Better roots mean a greener, thicker and healthier turf.
When Should Turf Be Aerated?
Turf grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine are best aerated mid spring through summer. This allows the turf to grow a dense root system that helps nourish the grass through Florida’s long, hot summers.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect?
Immediately after aeration, your lawn will be dotted with small plugs pulled from the soil. About 7 to 10 days after aeration, the holes will be filled with white, actively growing roots. Don’t expect miracles from a single aeration, particularly on lawns growing on extremely poor soils. Lawns that receive this care will be healthier, easier to maintain, more vigorous, and have fewer pest problems.