Aerating and planting grass is a great way to keep your lawn lush, healthy and green, but done at the wrong time of the season, they can also be a big waste of time and money. You can count on the lawn care experts at Nutri-Lawn Vancouver to know the optimal time of the season for all your lawn maintenance jobs so you don’t waste energy and resources.
Aeration is a process where small plugs of soil are removed from your lawn. There are a few good reasons this helps your lawn. If your lawn is compacted (packed down hard) either from years of not aerating or heavy foot traffic (a play area or a pathway), rain can’t penetrate deep into the soil. If water pools on top of your lawn and doesn’t drain away as it should, this could be a soil compaction problem.
Thatch is a layer of dead organic material on top of the soil in your lawn. A thin layer helps your lawn by adding nutrients as it breaks down, but if the thatch is an inch thick or more, it creates a barrier and prevents rain and sun from reaching the soil and plants. Aeration is the best way to address this issue.
When is the Best Time to Aerate?
Vancouver’s unique oceanic climate (that sometimes feels like a Mediterranean climate) means that aerating too early could create a muddy mess. April and early May is a great time to aerate because the soil is starting to dry enough, but the grass is actively growing and will recover quickly.
When is the Best Time to Plant Grass or Overseed?
Following aeration, fertilizing and planting grass or overseeding is a great strategy. Cool season grasses (the type popular in and around Vancouver) need a consistent soil temperate of 10°C - 15°C and plenty of moisture.
April provides the perfect growing conditions for grass seed to germinate and grow quickly. The soil conditions in March are often too cool and wet and the seed can go to waste. If you wait until the warmer summer temperatures arrive, you’ll need to irrigate to keep the soil moist enough for the seeds to germinate. April provides the new growth plenty of time to establish good roots before the summer weather arrives.
Remember to keep a minimum 10cm – 15cm of good top soil for your grass seeds to grow. Keep in mind how much shade that part of your lawn will receive as well. Be sure to keep hedges and trees trimmed to allow your lawn as much direct sun as possible.
What About Sod?
If you’re laying sod, April is still a great time to plant because of the ample moisture and warmer temperatures. One problem that can occur with sod is if the soil in the sod is slightly different (texture, ph, etc.) than the soil you’re planting on. Aeration will help mix the soil and provide pockets for the new growth to reach into the depths of the soil underneath. Making sure the two layers bond well is crucial for the success of your sod.
Ask the lawn care experts at Nutri-Lawn Vancouver for a free consultation. Give your lawn the best start possible this season by having a professional evaluation. Let us take care of the maintenance so you can sit back and enjoy the look and feel of a healthy lush lawn!