Aerate lawn and apply ½ inch compost

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recommends tips for water irrigation cost savings

Staff report
A man aerating a lawn which removes plugs of soil and thatch. This lawn care maintenance improves water, air and nutrient penetration and promotes the growth of healthy organisms in the soil.

Since landscape irrigation increases water use by 35 to 75 percent during the summer irrigation season, Texas A&M AgriLife recommends landscape water conservation practices be adapted to reduce water use, save money and still maintain a beautiful landscape. Water conservation is the easiest and least expensive method to make water resources sustainable for future use.

Infiltration of irrigation and rainfall into compacted soils cause runoff because usually the irrigation system or rainfall comes faster than the ground can absorb the water. Heavy clay soil becomes compacted by traffic, mowing, irrigation, and rainfall. Aerate the soil and spread about ½ inch of compost over the lawn. The compost and aeration will help tremendously by allowing the water to enter the soil more efficiently.

Aeration is not required often but you can add compost several times to increase the infiltration rate in the lawn area. Aerate and apply compost in the spring after the grass starts growing and apply compost again in the fall before the lawn goes dormant. Also, when you mow, allow the grass clipping to stay on the ground to decompose.

For further information, contact Mark Arnold, County Extension Agent-Agriculture/Natural Resources, 701 South I-35 E Service Road #3, Waxahachie, or call 972-825-5175 or email: wmarnold@ag.tamu.edu .