Post-Tour Turf Repair. Bet you can’t say that three times real fast. But fast is what I’m going for today. We’ve had over 10 inches of rain just since the first of June, so the grassy paths in my yard were already a little ‘flat’ before 700 pairs of feet strolled through on the garden tour last Saturday. Much more rain is forecast for the coming week–every day, in fact. So this morning I got out my trusty core-aerator and went to work to beat the next thunderstorm that’s on its way. I can rent a power aerator for the larger areas of my yard, and in the past have shared the rental with a neighbor. But the narrower spaces between garden fences, under arbors, checkered by stepping stones, or those near irrigation heads are the ones that are most trampled right now, and the manual version of core aeration will work just fine. I also like that I can whip it out on a whim and not worry about scheduling a rental. The tool I have is a Fiskars aerator, and I love that the handle is long enough for me (I’m 5’8″) and the step is broad so it doesn’t hurt my foot.
My Fiskars aerator was a free sample, but Yard Butler and Hound Dog make similar tools. When I first saw one of these, I didn’t think I would actually use it much, but for a small yard with narrow spaces, it is a much better option than trying to wrestle a power aerator under an arbor. As compacted as my clay soil is, the cores and holes will improve the health of my lawn better than just poking a bunch of skinny little spikes in the ground. Core aeration is one of the best things you can do to create a healthy lawn, and it is not the same thing as spike aeration (which some researchers think is actually detrimental to turf health in clay soil.)
There are a few places I will scratch in a little grass seed, and since we are expected to have moist conditions for most of the next two weeks, it will probably germinate. Between the gradual degradation of the cores on the turf, the aeration of the soil, and the extra seed, I think we’ll be back to normal pretty quickly.
Whew! My yard is getting healthier by the minute. That was fast.