The Best Time to Core a Lawn

If you are new to the world of lawn care, you may be bamboozled over the term ‘lawn core’ and why you need to perform this type of maintenance. Surely, lawn care is just about mowing, right? But, if you really want your lawn to be the talk of the town (or at least the neighbourhood), you’ve got to get serious about lawn maintenance. Part of this is knowing when and how to core your lawn to ensure you’ve got healthy grass year round.

As lawn care experts, we at Jim’s Mowing explain the ins and outs of lawn coring, including why you need to do it, the best time to core and how to do it! Read on to learn more about the essential art of lawn coring.

What is lawn coring and why is it important?

Lawn coring is a technique of lawn aeration, which is the process of perforating the soil of your lawn to enable drainage, improve oxygen levels, and to help nutrients and water penetrate the grass down to the roots. Lawn coring involves the removal of chunks of soil (also called cores or plugs) which creates holes to ensure the proper supply of oxygen, water and nutrients to your lawn.

If you’ve recently had significant rainfall or flooding, lawn coring is an ideal way to help your lawn dry out and recover. It’s also a great way to relieve soil compaction, which can result in a patchy and unhealthy lawn.

We also highly recommend performing lawn coring after dethatching your lawn and before applying any topsoil or fertiliser to your lawn as it will ensure that your lawn can bounce back quicker and help encourage new growth.

What is lawn coring and why is it important?

How to core your lawn

Now, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of how to core your lawn and when you should be performing this maintenance!

1) Gather your equipment for lawn coring

Before you get stuck into coring your lawn, here’s the equipment you will need:

  • Lawnmower (electric or petrol)
  • A specialised lawn coring machine
  • Garden rake
  • Fertiliser (optional, but recommended)
  • Topsoil (optional)

2) Mow your lawn

Before you can begin coring your lawn, you need to see what you are doing! To do so, you need to mow your lawn the day before or at least a few hours before you start coring. Mow your grass a little shorter than you normally would and remove any grass clippings left behind.

3) Check the soil

The day before you core your lawn, check the soil. If your soil feels too dry, give the grass and soil a quick water. Otherwise, dry soil won’t let your coring machine properly penetrate and can be overly crumbly. However, don’t overdo it with the water. A soggy lawn won’t produce the holes you need when coring and will leave you with a muddy mess.

4) Mark any obstacles

Just before you go over the lawn with your core machine, you will need to mark any possible obstacles. This can include sprinklers, irrigation lines, unremovable rocks and anything else which may interfere with the core machine.

5) Begin coring

After you’ve carefully read through the instructions of your core machine and set the depth, it’s time to start coring your lawn. Simply manoeuvre the core machine around your lawn, it’s best to do this in differing directions such as starting with a horizontal pass then a vertical one.

6) Clean up any remaining cores

Following the lawn coring, you may see the leftover soil cores. We recommend removing these, however if you do leave them then ensure to break them up so they don’t prevent the grass from accessing the sunlight it needs.

7) Apply optional topsoil and fertiliser

After you’ve performed the lawn coring, it’s the perfect time to give your lawn an extra boost by applying some topsoil and/or fertiliser. This is because the lawn aeration process enables your lawn to absorb the topsoil and fertiliser better through the hole left by the lawn coring. To know the perfect way to top dress your lawn, follow our comprehensive top dressing guide!

Lawn care essentials - coring

The best time to core your lawn

Now you know how to core your lawn, but when should you do it? The best time to core your lawn is when it is actively growing, which depends on your grass variety. If you have a cool-season grass variety like Kentucky Blue Grass, it’s best to core in autumn and the beginning of winter (before the ground is affected by frost). If you have warm-season grass like Buffalo Grass, then we recommend coring your lawn in the spring.

Have more questions about coring your lawn? Get in touch with the helpful team at Jim’s Mowing today!

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