Benefits of Core Aeration and Compost Topdressing

Compost topdressing is the process of adding a thin layer of organic material, typically ¼ inch to ½ inch over grass and usually goes hand in hand with an initial core aeration. The process has been found to be so beneficial, it could easily be considered the foundation for any lawn care program. Compost is made from appropriate ratios of wet and dry materials that are highly decomposed. Good quality compost is a dark, rich color containing a plethora of organic materials and a few fillers, such as loam.

Benefits reaped by implementing the process include:>

  • Addition of valuable microorganisms into the soil
  • Favorable drainage and soil structure modification
  • Smoothing out of bumps and dips in the lawn
  • Keeps thatch under control
  • Naturally acts as a long-term fertilizer


Chamberbitter, commonly known as gripeweed or little mimosa for obvious reasons, is a broad leaf weed frequently found in east Texas lawns with increased intensity over the last 10 years. Its appearance in lawns and flowerbeds seems to occur overnight.

As with so many other lawn and bed weeds, chances of eradication are slim. And the likelihood of chamberbitter rearing its head each year is high.

The good news is, there are feasible means of managing it. Because chamberbitter has a taproot rather than bulbs or rhizomes to sprout, it is relatively easy to manually pull from the ground while the weed is young and relatively small. Prevention of its ability to reach maturity reduces the risk of future populations.

Assuring the lawn is properly cared for by utilizing proper mowing, watering and fertilization techniques for a particular type of lawn can minimize chamberbitter issues.

Preemergent herbicides applied at the appropriate time are effective for preventing seed development. If post-emergent herbicides are necessary, they are most beneficial when applied to young weeds with at least 2 applications spaced approximately 30 days apart.

Irrigation System Savvy

An efficient, well-tuned sprinkler system is paramount to saving water, money and mid-summer landscape woes. Some system issues are readily recognizable: shooting geysers of water, broken or clogged nozzles, driveway or streets being watered rather than the lawn. Others may not be spotted as easily.

Listed are several areas of concern to watch for in keeping an effectively running system.

  • Heads that are too low, interrupting the spray pattern
  • Rotors or heads out of adjustment spraying areas to far or not far enough
  • Zone valves that leak and allow water to puddle around lowest heads or rotors
  • Valves that will not turn on or shut off
  • Controller or timer that is not properly working

There are some basic actions that can be taken to make the system more functional. These include a manual zone by zone system check, cleaning the screens on the nozzles or rotor screens if it’s a lake system, check batteries to the controller annually and utilizing a rain sensor to keep lawns from being overwatered during rainy periods.