With bated breath, and childlike anticipation, I watched as Summer slinked away and Fall, standing squarely and confidently, appeared timely to announce its long-awaited arrival.  Joy filled my heart, and thoughts quickly turned to blazing foliage, crunching leaves, crisp, sweet air, pumpkins, apples, and bonfires. 

As we welcome Fall in all its glory and beauty, it may feel as if it’s time to hang up our boots, prepare our homes for the winter and holidays ahead, and turn our backs on our lawns,  but we can’t.  Despite the dwindling sunlight, chilly nights, and tired looking gardens, our lawns are again hitting their stride, not unlike Spring.  As you might already know from some of my previous blogs, Fall is the ideal time to tend to our lawns, renovate them, start anew, and prepare them for the harsh winter ahead.  In doing so, your lawns will face dormancy in tip-top health and come out swinging in Spring.

In an effort to prepare our lawns, there’s a specific opponent that must be addressed.  It’s lurking just beneath your feet.  Mocking you.  Disguising itself amongst the lush, green blades of grass.  It’s thatch.  It’s an enemy, and it’s on the attack.  Actually, it’s more of a passive-aggressive enemy, but an enemy all the same.  To assist our lawns, and ensure their peak health, it’s important to address thatch.  Thatch is a build-up of living and dead organic matter, like grass roots and stems, that is found between the soil and grass blades.  It appears as a thick tangle of dark brown roots above the soil.  If the thatch layer is excessive and greater than 1/2”, it creates an ideal environment for pests and disease.  Thatch, at this level, cannot simply be raked or torn out with a dethatcher as it’s only a temporary fix.  Core aeration followed by topdressing are the most effective methods.  Small plugs are pulled up and out of the soil and are left on the surface, which acts as topdressing.   Core aeration helps ease compaction, and drainage issues and can ultimately deter weed growth.

Most landscapers aerate in only one direction, punching 8-9 holes per square foot with the best of equipment.  Sweeney’s, on the other hand, aerates in two directions, punching 15-20 holes per square feet, which is the recommended amount.

Do yourself and lawn a favor by addressing and decimating thatch.  Call Sweeney’s today, and schedule your core aeration.

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

-Henry Miller

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney

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