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De-Thatching and Aerating

Unless you have been scrupulously avoiding chemical fertilizers, removing grass clippings or using well-maintained and properly used mulching blades, the chances are good that your lawn has accumulated some thatch.

This can be removed periodically with a special thatching rake, but it is a back breaking and time consuming task without special equipment. However, a serious thatch buildup will prevent water, oxygen and nutrients from reaching the roots of the lawn, eventually weakening the turf and leaving it vulnerable to attack by pests and diseases.

Aeration can be done at the time of de-thatching or separately and this technique actually removes small plugs of soil at spaced intervals. This is especially helpful when you find that your lawn is not greening up in spite of being fed or watered properly because the food and water never got to the roots and it helps overcome problems caused by compacted soils.

Of all the lawn care jobs that a homeowner might be most interested in hiring done, this service is at the top of the list. Equipment to do the job can be rented at many home and garden centers, but it can heavy to transport and the job itself can be physically taxing.

Along the same lines, it’s a good idea to inspect the lawn periodically for signs of damage from grubs and other soil pests. Beneficial nematodes are a biological control that will eliminate grubs, but they should be purchased fresh or refrigerated and, while application is simple, it is important to follow the instructions to the letter. These must be applied when they will have a few hours or overnight to work down into the soil before the emergence of hot sun.

An advantage of these and other biological controls is that insects and grubs don’t become resistant to them as with pesticides so you can achieve control without making the problem worse in the future. A lawn care professional should be able to advise you on proper application of the products mentioned above in order to achieve maximum results.