Removing plugs of sod and soil can work wonders for a struggling turf–if you do it at the right time of year. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath discusses what to do when compacted soil needs to be aerated at the wrong time in the season.
Question of the Week:
Last summer my neighbor’s 85-foot-tall oak tree fell into our yard, crushing some treasured ornamentals and a retaining wall. By the time we sorted out the removal, a month had passed and the lawn was a mess. Much of the grass had been killed by the large crown falling onto it; and the coup de gras was delivered by the weight of the heavy equipment that had to be brought onto the lawn. The arborists did what they could to lessen the impact, putting gigantic sheets of wood under the crawlers and wheels, but large areas were still badly compacted. After a rainstorm, water pools for hours. The lawn is pretty much now total weeds and will need to be redone—but first we need to address the compaction problem; correct? I consulted the ‘soil compaction’ article in your A to Z archives and feel that core aeration would only provide superficial help.
—Carol in Wynnewood, PA