Edging and trimming are the finishing touches of mowing, kind of like getting a shave after you’ve had a haircut. Edging and trimming are pretty close to being the same thing. Some tools are called edgers because they’re designed to trim the lawn along a hard surface like a driveway or sidewalk. Edgers cut a nice clean edge, but leave some dirt and grass debris that you need to clean up. On the other hand, you can use trimmers anywhere — along a hard surface, in tight spaces, next to planting beds, and so on. Trimmers also leave some clippings on paths and driveways that you need to sweep up. We use both pieces of equipment at Lawn Maintenance Company. Lastly, grass clippings are valuable organic matter, chock-full of nitrogen and other nutrients. As long as you mow often enough to remove no more than one third of the grass blade, the easiest thing to do is just to leave clippings on the lawn. The pieces break down quickly and reduce the amount of fertilizer you have to use by as much as 25 percent. And research has proven that the clippings don’t cause thatch to build up.
Lawn aeration & dethatching are secret weapons in making your lawn healthy. Over time, lawns accumulate thatch. Thatch is a layer of slowly decomposing grass, dead roots, and other yard debris that’s picked up by the mower and tossed back onto the grass. The accumulation of thatch over time prevents water and other nutrients from getting through to the roots of your lawn. Accumulation of thatch, like the compacted soil, also gives insects a great place to hide. You can tell how much thatch has built up by using an aeration device to remove three plugs of soil. The top layer of the plug that looks kind of like peat is your thatch. If it measures more than one-half inch, it is time to dethatch. It’s best to dethatch your lawn just before it begins growing the most vigorous for the season.
Aeration involves making holes in the lawn either by pushing a rod into it or by “coring”, extracting a plug of soil. This service should be performed twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. By aerating your lawn you provide the following benefits to your lawn and its root system:
- Oxygen gets to the roots and the soil allowing it to “breathe”
- Organic fertilizers and nutrients get access to the root system
- Water is able to better soak the soil and reach the root system
- Helps to break up thatch
- Tight, compacted soil is loosened up allowing the root system to grow
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