Submitted on September 7, 2017

Do you have bald spots? Are they growing? If these bald spots are in your lawn, Weed Man has the cure... Chances are there are some thin or weak areas in your lawn. This is quite normal for residential lawns.  When you think about gardening, things like turning over soil/rototilling, pruning dead branches/heads and planting new plants likely come to mind. Many people think differently about their lawn. Just like your gardens, the soil under your lawn and by extension your grass can become very stagnant for many reasons such as:

  • Soil compaction - Particularly common in clay soils, when you’re the soil beneath your grass becomes compacted; the ability for water and nutrients to infiltrate down to the roots of your lawn becomes limited. This in turn limits the growth of your lawn’s root system, making it much more fragile as a perennial plant that you rely on as a permanent ground cover to stay vibrant and healthy year after year.
  • Heavy thatch layer - This is an excessive (over ¾” [1.9 cm]) layer of living and dead plant material that sits on the soil surface. Thatch that can build up over time; or it can be imported with new sod.  It can make your lawn feel very cushy or spongy when you walk on it. If excessive, this heavy layer can inhibit the flow of water and nutrients to the soil and roots. It can also harbour many disease spores and/or turf damaging insects; creating even more problems.
  • Old Grass - If you live in an older home, and you have never over seeded your lawn, chances are the grass types you have growing are very old. Old grass types are very vulnerable to environmental stresses such as heat/drought, insects and diseases.  Grass seed companies have made huge improvements to various “cultivars”. There are many newer grasses that almost have a self-repairing ability to creep or spread into adjacent bare soil areas where weeds would have traditionally taken over.  Many newer grass cultivars are “endophyte enhanced”; which means they have a beneficial natural fungus which grows inside a grass plant. The benefit is that these endophytes help grasses to be more resistant insects and diseases; which improves dramatically on the older more susceptible grasses.
  • Weeds and Weed Grasses - Weed seeds can survive in the soil for over 50 years. This means that anytime there’s a “weakness” in the grass, caused by heat/drought, insects, disease, heavy traffic etc, the lawn becomes much more susceptible to being taken over by weeds or weed grasses such as crabgrass.  While there are treatments available for many of these plants, the ultimate and most sustainable form of control is to crowd out these undesirable plants with thick, lush and healthy grass.

Aside from dealing with each of the challenges above, it is simply a great habit to introduce new grass seed to your lawn at least once/season. Despite our best efforts, your lawn will naturally lose grass plants for many reasons beyond what’s listed above. If you are consistently introducing the seeds of desirable grass plants into the mix, you are constantly keeping undesirable weeds and weed grasses at bay by crowding them out with desirable young, actively growing grass plants.

Aeration & Overseeding are two services that should be done on your lawn at least once per season. The aeration loosens and revitalizes soils by increasing the flow of air, water and nutrients. Overseeding while the aerator holes are present is ideal because the new seeds germinate inside the aerator holes. The new grass plant roots will be deeper than the existing lawn. Eventually the roots of the existing lawn will connect with the new deeper grass shoot roots. All of this new plant and root development will spur microbial activity in the soil, de-compacting it even more. The end result is a thick lush and vibrant lawn with very few weeds.

To learn more about Aeration & Overseeding, please contact your local Weed Man.

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