Whether you have recently installed fresh sod or you are just starting to care for your lawn, there are a few things you can do to keep your lawn looking great. Aerating your lawn can help prevent soil compaction and keep your grass healthy. Make sure to check for dry spots after watering and treat for insects.
Aeration helps prevent soil compaction
Whether you are trying to create a green yard or just want to ensure that your lawn is healthy and looks its best, aeration helps prevent soil compaction. The process involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air and water to penetrate the root system. This also promotes vigorous growth of the grass root system.
The process should be performed within the first year of installation. It can be done as often as every few years.
There are several methods for aerating the ground. Some methods are hollow tine aeration, solid tine aeration, and spike aeration. Solid tine aeration is a technique that drills a small hole into the lawn. The core of the soil is then pulled out of the hole.
Hollow tine aeration is a method that uses a machined tube to create holes in the soil. It is a less effective method. The process can be a bit time-consuming.
It is important to remember that aeration is only effective when the soil is in a healthy condition. This means that if your lawn is dormant, it should not be aerated.
Adding organic matter to the soil can also improve the condition. Organic matter acts as a natural glue that maintains the porosity of the soil. It also feeds soil organisms and helps maintain drainage. This also helps prevent the re-compaction of mineral particles.
Check for dry spots after watering
During the first few weeks of your new sod's life, it is important to check for dry spots. They can cause damage to your lawn and make it look worse. If you find one, it's best to remedy the situation as soon as possible.
The best way to find dry spots is to check your soil. You can buy a soil moisture gauge from your local garden store. It has a metal spike that you place in the soil to gauge its moisture level.
If the gauge is indicating that the soil is dry, it's time to start watering. The goal is to keep the soil underneath moist so that the roots can get a grip on it. Water should penetrate about 4-6 inches into the soil.
You should water at least twice a day. The amount you water will depend on the weather and the type of grass you have. For instance, tall fescue needs about two waterings a day. In the winter, less water is needed. In the spring and summer, you may need more.
The best time to water is early in the morning, before sunrise. This will help prevent water from evaporating too quickly. It's also a good idea to water at least once a day in the evenings. This is when most dry spots are found.
Treat for insects
During the first month after you have installed new sod, you must make sure you treat your lawn for insects. Many insects can wreak havoc on your lawn. You may find that your lawn is infested with grub worms, white grubs, or chinch bugs. These insects can be difficult to control, but you can find a product that will keep them out of your lawn.
Grub worms feed on grass, so they can cause significant damage to your lawn in a short period of time. Grub worms can be treated by applying insecticide or raking out dead grass. They can also be controlled by nematodes. Nematodes are small organisms that attack grubs over a period of weeks. You can apply nematodes directly to your lawn or you can add them to your garden sprayer water.
Sod webworms are another common pest to your lawn. These little insects are native to North America. They have long, pale green legs and antennae. They lay eggs in clusters and feed on the blades of grass. They may appear as small brown patches on your lawn. They are best treated by applying an insecticide.
The best insecticide to treat chinch bugs is a granular insecticide. Some products include pyrethroids. These provide control for both sod webworms and chinch bugs. Always consult a lawn expert before doing anything else on your sod.