As seen in Medicine Hat News – April 9, 2016 – Bev Crawford
I had so much fun last Saturday playing with my granddaughter, Leigha, on our front lawn. My husband decided to rent a power aerator to rejuvenate the grass. After the aeration is done he criss-crosses over the yard with a power rake to dethatch the build up of slowly decomposing grass stems, dead roots, and debris that builds up above the soil line.
Aerating and dethatching are as important to your lawn’s health as fertilizing and mowing, although it just needs to be done once every year or two. Lawns need air, water and nutrients and this process helps to provide these needs.
The finger-sized plugs of soil lifted by the aerator allow air, water, and fertilizers to get closer to the roots, and the roots grow more deeply, producing a healthier lawn. The aerator will also puncture the thatch layer in your grass that can form a water barrier over the soil. Make sure that the soil below the grass is moist during aeration so the soil can be penetrated easily. Too wet or too dry doesn’t work so well.
Once the plugs of soil were pulled and the power rake ran over the lawn, Leigha and I had a great time raking all that dormant grass into a small castle for her to sit on. She threw the grass clippings into the air with glee!
While the men were busy with the heavy work she helped fill the birdbaths with fresh water. She has taken a keen interest in the wide variety of birds in Gramma and Grampa’s yard!
We compost all of our grass, leaves, kitchen scraps and plant waste. If you don’t compost at home you can purchase a city compost bin that they pick up on a weekly basis starting the week of April 18. And if you don’t have or want a bin, be sure your yard waste is in an appropriate paper or recycle bag.
When watering your grass this coming season it is wise to water early in the morning or late evening and water deeply only when the lawn shows signs of needing it.
With Earth Day coming on April 22, please do something to celebrate Mother Nature. Start a recycle program in your home. Throw less in the garbage by recycling your plastic, cardboard, tin and glass. The garbage nuisance ground will appreciate you! You could plan to plant a tree; if everyone planted a tree we would all breathe easier. Or you could plant a butterfly flower for the struggling monarchs, or some flowers for our disappearing bees. Whatever you choose to do, do it with love for the earth and your environment.
Bev Crawford is the Perennial House Manager at The Windmill Garden Centre and John’s Butterfly House.