For healthy lawn, Charlotte soil may require more than aeration

For healthy lawn, Charlotte soil may require more than aeration
Lawn care

Lawn care

For many Charlotte lawns, a fall treatment of aeration and seeding is just what you need for the colder days to come, say area landscapers.

But if yours is a lawn that consistently underperforms, it might need some help to overcome the Southern soil that’s underneath. Brian Leepard, owner of the highly rated Makeover My Yard in Harrisburg, says that while aeration is good for root growth, homeowners with struggling lawns need to take some additional steps now to ensure some healthy green later.

"The ground here has all that red clay, which chokes out the nutrients,” says Leepard, who recommends a “top dressing” of good organic soil to refill aeration holes. That, he says, will improve the overall health of the soil.

Leepard also recommends testing your soil regularly. In North Carolina, it’s easy and free to do, he says. Just take a soil sample from three different areas in your lawn and put them in boxes available at your county extension office. Test results usually take one to two weeks.

The soil analysis will diagnose any nutrient deficiencies and provide optimal lime and fertilizer recommendations. "A lot of people just think this is the time to throw out some lime,” Leepard says. “They may not need that in their yard."

The N.C. Department of Agriculture recommends that you collect soil samples as soon as possible before making any landscaping plans, including lawn treatments. Use a soil probe, spade, garden trowel or shovel to collect cores. For lawns, take a sample about four inches deep into the soil. For garden areas, go a couple of inches deeper. For more tips on soil samples, visit the Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension website.

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