Core Aeration - Plugs/tine Or Spikes/slits & Dethatching - Landscaping & Lawn Care - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 04-30-2010, 09:06 PM   #16
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
"especially if there's a pitch in the grade. "

And I thought it was because of gravity.
If it was just about gravity, then the water would go straight down regardless.

With thatch on a sloped lawn, that water will run off before it even touches the soil.

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Old 05-01-2010, 07:54 AM   #17
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


remember that a little thatch is good. It holds the moisture in and shades the soil a bit. If you have clay soil then you have even more reason to aerate. Given that you have an irrigation system tells me that the lawn never dries up and you cut it regular. Big question is do you bag the lawn? If you do then don''t thatch. Thatch will tend to build up a lot more on a irrigated lawn because of the frequent mowing. I say this with generalization because most homeowners don't know how to operate their sprinkler system correctly and over water. This leads to excessive growth. Also the constant water drains the soil of nutrients faster.
When I used to cut grass professionaly my most dreaded sight was a chemlawn truck and the sprinklers running everday.
Core aeration is the way to go. It is unsightly as it looks like a giant flock of geese have been parading around on your lawn. Fertilize afterwards and then water. The thing about core aeration is it automatically removes any thatch within that core. There are plugs every couple inches so it really improves "breathability" and water/nutrient transfer.
Although I would hesitate to do it more than once. Every plug you pull means a spot in the lawn that the grass is being killed. If you do it too much you will remove all the turf. It's common sense. I don't usually argue with people on here but that one is crazy. You and I are really close so our lawns should be similiar. Do it once. I'm sure you don't have sports teams trampling your lawn everyday.

Last edited by Bushman; 05-01-2010 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:03 AM   #18
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


I'd pick thick grass to protect the roots vice thatch.

Core aeration and overseeding really go hand in hand....after dethatching, that is.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:36 PM   #19
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


Bushman,

My suggestion was based, for one thing, on my presumption, and it's entirely possible that I am mistaken, that any inexperienced operator of an aerator will be able to exactly match the previous pass and there will inevitably be places that are missed, i.e. corners, etc and there will likely be places that are overlapped even going over the area "once." Most people simply cannot operate this equipment in perfectly straight, adjacent lines with no skipped areas and no overlapped areas.

That said, for a second point, the suggestion was based on how I go over my yard, not how I aerate sports fields. I have lots of trees, shrubs, and flower beds and I know I miss a lot of areas. There are not many areas that are perfectly straight from one end of the yard to the other. So when I go up into a curve, between trees, etc I DON'T turn it off, roll back to a straight line, then start over. I crank it up and don't stop until I have covered it all or gotten tired, whichever comes first. If I go over it twice from different directions some places get a little extra and I ensure that I cover almost everything, at least to a practical point. I have never dug up "all of the turf" and the lawn has never turned brown or shown any adverse effect at all. This is how I do it in Georgia clay with a fescue lawn. It works for my yard, plain and simple. You are correct- it is "common sense." And, again a presumption on my part, I presume that the OP has enough to stop before he got to the point of your concern.

I don't do that at work on sports fields. I simply was relaying the practice of aerating twice and that we do not dethatch. It is what it is. Actually, it would be much easier on a tractor on a ball field to go in a straight line from one end to the other in contrast to aerating a residential lawn. Frankly, as I mentioned about the fatigue factor, bouncing around over eight to fifteen acres, per complex, at 1/2 mph several hours at a time is not nearly as much fun as pulling weeds and dragging water hoses. And I have absolutely no plans to turn around and do it a second time. I have many deficiets, but being a masochist is not one of them.

whataboutj,
good luck on your project.
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:17 PM   #20
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


Down Under,
Thanks for clarifying. Had I not known any better and I read your post I would have aerated the %$#& out of my yard. My thinking would have been to get my money out of the rental. As well as the more plugs the better. I apologize for my wording I did not mean to imply. You are right though that machine will kick your butt. Plus it has such small coverage as far as width. I noticed on our machine that it left stripes similiar to when cutting the lawn so you just followed them. It does make sense in my mind to aerate a sports field more though given the amount of foot traffic, mowing and rolling.
Thanks again for the input and good luck on the aeration!!
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:16 PM   #21
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


On some golf courses with heavy soil they top dress with sand immediately after aerating to fill the cores with a stable material that will allow more moisture to be absorbed deeper before the heavy soild can break down and rofill the cores. - This is an extra option depending on the conditions.

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Old 05-02-2010, 08:07 AM   #22
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


It seems to me that verbosity, piety, and a deficit in comprehension have invaded this thread- IMO. As a result, the OP's request for help, which is the purpose for all of this, has been ignored.

Whataboutj,
I would sugggest that you take all the information given here to a credible source such as your local county extension agent, which is a division of your state university, and find out what is accurate and what is not. I have no problem at all with any such source screening my information.

I realize that this is a public forum and as such the information posted is somewhat like what one would get at a barber shop, or a bar for that matter. Please have the decency to offer CONSTRUCTIVE advice or note that your comments are opinions if that's what they are. Personally, I don't have time to run everone else's business or try to convince the world how smart I am but I do try to make time to help those who I can and who ask for help. Like I said, I have no problem with any credible source looking at my comments.

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Last edited by downunder; 05-02-2010 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:38 AM   #23
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


I don't believe he has been ignored. There is a lot of good info from all of us. You just took offense to someone questioning your post is all.
Get used to it. It's how the world works. No one is perfect.
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:04 PM   #24
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


Everyone has a different point of view & experience
That's pretty normal

I've been in this house going on 7 years & have never dethatched or aerated my lawn
I do not fertilize using the 4 season/4 fertilizer method
But I do use Scotts...halts (1st) & Spring (2nd) fertilizer
I have the Winterguard (late fall) but have yet to use it
I may have used the Summer stuff once
And I do not fertilize every year
I've limed the yard once, never had the pH tested or anything else

My front yard & one side are nice & green (most attention), few weeds
My backyard has been punished by construction, digging up tree roots, moving dirt from side yard out back (backhoe) & leveling an area
It's recovering...but needs work
The other side yard needs to be regraded, until my addition is done & new driveway is in that is not happening

I very rarely water my lawn...usually only when reseeding an area
But I'm in the North & it doesn't get that hot
Lucky if we need AC 14 days a year for 4-6 hours
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:54 PM   #25
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


Thanks everyone. There is a lot of good information in this thread. Hopefully the thread can help others that don't have a lot of knowledge about aerating and de-thatching similar to me right now. I do understand that every situation is different and there is no 100% right or wrong answer. Seeing the varioud responses and ways people treat their lawn is very helpful.

I did understand what was being said about aerating one direction and then doing a cross section. There is two sections of my lawn that I am most concerned about one of them is in the front yard which I want to take care of right away.

The other nice bonus is that my father in law is the ex president of a local country club and is good friends with the grounds superintendent. I will talk with him to see what his take on what to do is since he is local and obviously very in tune with how to take care of landscaping locally.

I really appreciate everyone's input - I took some pics of my lawn and will post them just for the heck of it once I have a chance to upload them and get them onto photobucket
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:08 PM   #26
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


I took a rake to my yard a few months ago and pulled up a lot of dead grass. Right afterwards, the grass seemed less matted down and the grass seemed to have livened up.

I actually have a push dethatcher and use it once in awhile since I have a small yard.

http://www.cleanairgardening.com/dethatcher.html

I also core aerate with this.

http://www.hound-dog.com/turf_hound.htm

I limed my yard about 2 weeks ago and it's amazing how the grass suddenly got thick and lush.

I think those who mulch their grass vice bagging should put down lime to lower the pH. Plus, lime is so cheap.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:04 PM   #27
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Core aeration - plugs/tine or spikes/slits & dethatching


FWIW-

pH is measured on a scale from 0-14, with 7 being neutral, neither acid nor alkaline. Below 7 is acid, above 7 is alkaline. That's not my opinion, perception, point of view, or whatever. That is basic 5th grade chemistry.

Lawns do best with a pH of between 6 and 7, according to the university experts. If your soil has a pH of 5.5, adding the proper amount of lime can change the pH to 6-6.5. If your soil has a pH of 7.5 and you add lime, the pH goes farther away from the 6-7 (toward 8). Don't know if that is what y'all call raising or lowering.

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