Buying Organic Compost and using it after Aeration gives a lot of “Bang for the Buck”
In the heat of a St. Louis summer, it’s hard to believe, what my lawn really is thirsty for is the benefits that organic compost brings. Face it, it’s St. Louis, it’s hot & your yard has probably seen better times. Living in this area all my life, I know that spring brings such promise of green, vibrant and healthy grass and by mid July and August, I start to wonder “why do I bother & is all of my effort in vain?”. Once I’ve gotten the spring weeds under control, it’s been raining regularly (in fact so often that I need to cut my grass twice a week), that no sooner than the thought races through my mind that my yard is looking “pretty good” Mother Nature shuts down the water & cranks up the heat. Alas, my yard is sad and so am I.
Like so many other people in this part of the country, it was time to try to make my soil better in an effort to make my grass better. It just makes sense doesn’t it? Better soil- and by that I mean soil that is richer in organic matter, less compacted and with more pore space available for the roots of the grass to penetrate deeper and absorb water. Now, how to achieve this.
The answer for my yard and so many others in the area that have been established for awhile is a combination of core aeration, overseeding and then topdressing with organic compost. Now I’m sure that most of you have either had your yard aerated at some point or have seen a yard that has been aerated. What happens is a machine goes across the top of your lawn & pulls out small soil cores or plugs of dirt. The next step is to broadcast some grass seed on top of that freshly aerated lawn in hopes of the seeds falling into all those tiny holes & making some wonderful, fresh starts of grass. Now the part that is new & different to many people is the last step- top dressing the lawn with compost. No, you aren’t going to be burying your lawn in dirt. But what you will be doing is having a special organic compost broadcast spreader traveling over the top of your lawn distributing a fine layer of compost on top of your soil. That compost will work down into those core aeration holes & eventually make your soil better.
People often ask when they can get the “most bang for their buck” when doing this aeration, overseeding & organic compost topdressing with compost of their lawn & to that my reply is “in the fall of the year”. Why? Because if we happen to get another winter filled with moisture like the one we had last year, some fall rains, some snowfalls of a few inches that melt slowly, then you can be assured that all of those wonderful nutrients in the soil are going to help your lawn burst back to life in the spring more thick & strong than before.
Compost is Mother Nature’s fertilizer. It’s natural & organic. Use a compost that is STA Certified in order to insure that its composition is stable & nutritious for the application for which you are using it. Compost is perfect for the slow release of nitrogen so it feeds your lawn for a long time without the “burn” you can get from some chemical applications.
One last thing that I’m sure you will be pleased to know as we sit in the sweltering heat of late July & August and continue to pray for the nice slow rains that come in spring and fall instead of the gully washing thunderstorms of summer, is that with that better soil that you’ve created in your lawn by aerating and using compost on top, well experts say that your soil will retain moisture much better- up to 30% better. When it’s 98 degrees outside, I know I’d like to spend 30% less time outside watering my lawn.