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Posted by Hillman Homes on 6/11/2018

At one time or another, everyone has postponed cutting their grass -- even if it's already overdue for a thorough mowing. Sometimes you have other plans: You're going away for the weekend, it's too hot, or maybe some friends just invited you over for a cold drink. There's no question that priorities often shift and more desirable choices present themselves. However, there are a handful of unexpected problems that could develop if you postpone lawn mowing for more than several additional days. Here are a few potential pitfalls to consider the next time you're thinking about waiting another week or so before tackling that jungle in your yard! Ground-nesting yellow jackets: There are a number of reasons that certain species of bees may decide that the soil in your backyard is a highly desirable place to build a nest, but uncut grass and a lack of human activity may make it even more inviting for them to set up shop. Although some ground-nesting bees are not always aggressive, yellow jackets are an exception. Mowing your lawn on a regular basis will not necessarily prevent bees from nesting in the ground, but short grass, regular human activity, and the noise of lawnmower may be somewhat of a deterrent. Keeping your grass well trimmed and your lawn maintained also makes it easier to spot bee activity in its early stages and take the appropriate action. In some cases, "appropriate action" is calling a professional exterminator and avoiding the infested area completely -- especially if you or anyone in your family is allergic to bee stings. Although your backyard should be a fun and carefree environment, it's a good idea to be observant and cautious when it comes to things like bee infestations. Other unwelcome visitors: If your yard is relatively quiet and undisturbed by lawn mowing and other activity for a few weeks, you may also discover large animal holes and burrows appearing. Not only does this damage your yard and create a tripping hazard, but there are a variety of undesirable animals -- including skunks -- that could be making their home on your property! Wear and tear on your lawnmower: Unless your lawnmower is new, exceptionally well maintained, and designed for rugged conditions, it probably does not do that well in long, thick grass. Forcing an older mower to work harder through heavy grass could cause it to overheat, shut down, or otherwise malfunction. Obvious drawbacks: Allowing your grass to grow beyond a couple inches can visibly detract from the appearance of your property. Even if you're not considering putting your house on the market in the near future, maintaining "curb appeal" will benefit neighbor relations and pride of home ownership. If vacations, physical limitations, or a busy social agenda keep you from mowing your lawn on a bi-weekly (or sometimes more frequent) basis, the solution may lie in using the services of an economical professional landscaping, mowing, or yard maintenance service. While it can be satisfying to have "hands on" involvement in keeping your property in tip top shape, sometimes there are other things you'd rather be doing!





Posted by Hillman Homes on 9/5/2016

There's more to lawn care than just cutting, watering, and fertilizing your grass. Even if you do these things correctly, your lawn will still build up compacted soil and lawn thatch (the un-decomposed stems and roots that tend to accumulate near the top of the soil). One of the best ways to address these issues is by aerating your lawn. If you've come here because your grass isn't growing as fully as it could be, you're in the right place. Whether this is your first time aerating or if you want to brush up on the proper technique, read on to learn how, when, and why to aerate your lawn.

What is aerating?

To grow healthily, the roots of your grass need to reach deep into the soil. When too much thatch builds up or your soil becomes too compacted, grass has a hard time taking root. Furthermore it becomes difficult to plant new seed or to get nutrients down to the roots of your grass. One do-it-yourself solution to this problem is aeration. Motorized aeration machines plug clumps of compacted soil and pull them out of your yard, allowing water, seed, and fertilizer to enter the soil to grow new, healthy grass.

When should you aerate your lawn?

The best time for aeration is during or just before peak grass-growing season in the spring. Warm weather and a lot of rain and sunshine all will help your newly aerated lawn grow quickly.

Steps of aeration

Here are the steps you should take for aerating your lawn:
  1. The day before aeration rake your yard and clean up anything that might be in your grass (pet toys, garden hoses, etc.)
  2. Water your yard heavily to make the soil moist. If you own an aerator, you can wait until the day after heavy rainfall. If you're renting one, just make sure the soil is wet enough to soften and plug
  3. Use the aerator on your entire lawn, avoiding things like irrigation systems. Then make a second pass with the aerator
  4. You can leave the excavated plugs on your lawn to dry up and decompose
  5. Once aerated, spread compost or peat moss over the yard to prevent further soil compaction

Aeration tips

There are many myths about lawn aeration. Some people argue that you don't need to plug the soil, but rather just spiking the lawn will suffice. Unfortunately, spiking the lawn won't do much to break down thatch and might even further compact your soil (think walking on your lawn with baseball cleats on). Another myth involving aeration is that leaving grass clippings on your lawn will cause thatch to build up quickly. This is also false. Grass clippings are mostly water and will decompose, adding nitrogen to your soil. This could save you money on having to buy fertilizer often. Another tip that will help you maximize the benefit of aeration is to avoid cutting your grass too short. Grass cut under two inches could be damaged or die. After you aerate, let your grass grow a few inches before cutting it, allowing your grass roots to take firm hold.