In your lawn mowing business, you’re sure to have customers who don’t have the thick, luxurious lawns that they desire. Of course, they’ll have all kinds of ideas about watering, fertilizers – even down to the height that you’re cutting the grass! However, the problem may be far simpler – it may just need aerating.
There are a few tell-tale signs that are a clear indicator that aeration is necessary:
Water pooling on the lawn after heavy rain
Bare spots where seed simply won’t take
Problem pests getting a foothold
Visible tracks in the lawn
Increasing numbers of weeds in spite of how much weed killer you use
However, the easiest way to get a good indicator is to poke the soil with a stick! If it’s difficult to penetrate, then you should aerate.
Often, this simple process is enough to overcome the compact earth and give your customers’ lawn a new lease of life. Bear in mind though, that if you customer has clay soil or lives in a very dry area, then you’ll probably have to aerate more often.
The process of aerating a lawn effectively allows the grass roots to get more nourishment, as well as making it easier for earthworms to move around. You’ll make it harder for weeds to take hold by breaking through their roots and you’ll promote the growth of healthy micro-organisms that naturally defend the lawn. Ultimately, you’ll have fewer problems to deal with as part of your lawn care business and your customer will have a healthier looking lawn!
It’s important to aerate when the weather’s fine. If it’s too hot, the soil will be too hard for the aerator to penetrate. If it’s too wet on the other hand, you’ll just make a mess and potentially end up compacting the soil further. Ideally, you want a weather window where it will be fine for at least a week after your treatment to maximize the long-term benefits.
For your clients in hot, dry climates, you’re may need to aerate in the spring already, if the winter was dry. You’ll also have to follow-up in summer and fall to keep the lawn healthy throughout the year. In cooler areas, stick to aerating in fall as the cooler climate tends to make the lawns eco-system too fragile to tackle in summer. I always recommend carrying your “stick” with you at all times so that at any time you can quickly check how much the earth has compacted.
If you need to cover bare patches or to fill out sparse lawns, it’s great to overseed straight after aerating. You’ve already prepared the soil in the best way possible for it to receive the seeds, so do it as soon as you’ve removed the pulled plugs. This is also a great time to water as the water can get nice and deep and revitalize the lawn.
In terms of equipment, you can get aerator attachments for many mowers today. If you don’t have one already, consider renting one so that you can get the feel of the different types and find one that suits both your style of working and your customers’ lawns. Once you’ve got your ideal aerator attached, simply mow the lawn in the same way as normal, then rake it to remove the plugs.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a lawn mowing business isn’t just about cutting grass – it should be about complete lawn care. Aerating your customers’ lawns will produce hardier, fuller lawns and will purvey you as an expert in your field. Invest in a good aerator and promote yourself as a lawn care business!
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