5 Reasons To Aerate Lawns In Utah

why aerate lawn utah

Photo by Evan Dvorkin

Everyone admires and wants a beautiful yard. It’s refreshing to the eyes and calming to the mind. To achieve and keep the property breathtakingly beautiful and healthy, you must regularly aerate your lawn. Will that do anything? Let’s find out.

What Is Aeration?

Aeration is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lawn. It involves perforating the soil with small holes. Doing so will allow water, oxygen, and nutrients to easily reach the roots.
Aeration also relieves soil compaction and encourages the grass to grow more roots, helping them grow faster and healthier.

Why Aerate Lawns In Utah?

Air, water, and nutrients must reach the thatch layer to allow roots to grow longer, thicker, and healthier. In Utah, homeowners are faced with the challenge of developing and managing a healthy and vigorous lawn because of its weather condition, especially during winter months.

Lawn dying happens when the snow thaws and soaks your grass. You can prevent this from happening by aerating your lawn. But that’s not the only reason. Here are a few more:

Compacted Soil

A lawn can get compacted for several reasons. One of those reasons is when your lawn is used as a neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets continually running around can also compact soil. Of course, vehicles or small equipment driven on the property can also cause this.

If your lawn has compacted soil, grass doesn’t stand a chance against heat or low rainfall. The grass will lose its rich, healthy color. It will be then gradually thin and die. Fortunately, aerating them with holes, at least once, can revive it.

Thatch Buildup

Excessive thatch buildup is another reason to aerate the lawn. It’s good that your grass’ roots grow for them to become lush, but excessive growth can lead to a thatch buildup. The dead roots, stems, and leaves can accumulate to the point wherein sprayed water can’t reach the roots.

You can easily detect a thatch buildup when the lawn beneath your feet feels spongy and dry. If it feels dry and spongy, immediately check if the thatch layer is more than half-an-inch thick. To do that, use a shovel. Dig out a small portion of the lawn—at least four inches deep will do

If the thatch is more than a half-inch thick, aerate.

Prolonged Dry Conditions

If you live in a place outside Utah where there’s prolonged dry conditions and drought, your lawn will need constant aeration. That will ensure your lawn will get absorbed fast by the soil instead of just evaporating because of heat.

Lawn Care Service

A good indication that you need to aerate your lawn is if the soil is hard to the touch, rainwater collects where it should be absorbed, or the grass looks unhealthy. If you don’t have aeration tools or equipment, you can hire a lawn care service provider to do the aeration for you.

How Do You Replace a Sprinkler Head?


If your yard has an automatic sprinkler system, there is a chance that you have already experienced dealing with a broken sprinkler head at one point or another in the past. Broken or damaged sprinkler heads are often the result of different reasons although the most common one is when the heads poke too far outside the ground and a lawnmower accidentally runs over them. Good thing that fixing it is easy and anyone can do it. So, how do you replace a sprinkler head, then?

Steps to Fix and Replace a Broken Sprinkler Head 

Replacing a sprinkler head is no doubt one of the simplest and easiest fixes as far as sprinklers are concerned. This process will just take a few minutes of your time and is also a cheap project that you can do on your own. Here are the simple steps you need to follow:

1. Turn off the water system.

Prior to starting the installation of the sprinkler head replacement, first, you have to ensure that you have shut off the water system properly. Failure to shut off the water system before the replacement process will make you end up dealing with water spraying everywhere. 

2. Dig a hole around the broken part.

After you have shut off the water supply, it is time for you to dig up the issue. You have to dig a hole that is usually 6 inches in diameter and 1 foot deep around the sprinkler head with the use of a shovel. Put the sod safely out of the way for you to return it to its place once the replacement process is finished. 

3. Dig down to the riser.

When you have finished digging all the way down to the riser, this is when you should stop. Make sure that you are extra careful when digging so you don’t end up damaging your sprinkler system. The riser refers to the vertical pipe branching off the mainline. After you reach the pipe, you should stop digging right away. 

4. Remove the old sprinkler head. 

It is the important step in the process. Turn the sprinkler head to the counterclockwise direction to take it off. Most of the time, you might need to pull out a pliers or wench to help you remove the head.

5. Attach the replacement sprinkler head.

Attach the new sprinkler head to the riser then turn this clockwise. See to it that you install and tighten it properly. 

6. Check the system before you fill the hole.

This last step is very important. Make sure that the system gives a satisfactory spray before you do the final cleanup. This way, you can save yourself from the need to dig up your sprinkler again in case there is a problem with the system. 

Replace the Sprinkler Head the Easy Way 

Now that you have learned the steps to replacing sprinkler heads, you will surely notice that the process itself is quite easy and simple. While some might not find it that easy, this task is often something that you can do quickly. If you notice a problem with your sprinkler heads, make sure you replace them right away to avoid more serious issues down the road. 

How Do I Fertilize My Lawn?

Many lawns can grow pretty well in Utah with no need to apply fertilizer. But, if you wish to improve the overall appearance and health of your lawn, fertilizer application can be a great way to make sure that your grass receives all the necessary nutrients for it to stay green, lush and healthy. 

The correct use fertilizer in your lawn can keep it in great condition while encouraging dense and strong growth of grass. Fertilizing your lawn will not just enhance its appearance as it will also help the grass recover from the normal wear and tear as well as the effects of harsh weather conditions. 

Properly fertilizing your lawn with the use of a balanced nutrient program will prevent your lawn from turning thin, patchy and weak that can make your grass more prone to weeds and moss. It is more likely for lawns in poor conditions to suffer from different diseases. 

Steps to Fertilize Your Lawn 

You can fertilize your lawn by hand although this process can be a bit difficult since it is hard to know if you have applied the correct amount. In general, it is more advisable that you use a spreader just like what most lawn care experts do. A spreader, as its name suggests, can help you spread the fertilizer uniformly across the surface to provide better results. 

You can choose from different types of spreader available in gardening stores. Handheld or shoulder spreaders are great for gardens. These are easy and simple to use and are not the standard rectangular shape. Mechanical push-along spreaders can be used as well. These are spreaders more suitable for larger gardens where you need to spread lots of fertilizer. 

The rotary spreaders feature a spinning mechanism that sprays or throws the fertilizer while the drop spreaders have tiny holes in the underside from where the feed drops to the grass. You can spray liquid fertilizer directly over the lawn surface and works great for demand feeding in places that require more nutrients. 

It is ideal that you feed the lawn right after mowing since it gives grass more time to absorb nutrients prior to the next mow. If lawn is mowed after applying fertilizer, you can remove the fertilizer before it gets the chance to properly sink in. 

Dry turf should never be fertilized. The soil must have enough moisture so that the grass plants can absorb the nutrients. During those days when the weather is particularly dry and hot, it is best that you wait until a good amount of rain arrives before you feed your lawn. Most lawn care experts also suggest that fertilizer requires watering in following the application make sure that the feed gets absorbed properly. 

Make sure that you also spread the correct amount fertilizer in your lawn. Excessive fertilizer can end up scorching or burning your grass that can leave it blackened or shriveled. Fertilizer might also scorch or burn your grass when your lawn is fed if the soil doesn’t have enough moisture, such as during dry months of summer. 

What’s the Difference between Sod and Seed for New Lawns?

There is something tricky about gardening. There are plenty of questions running through your mind yet the answers tend to be very vague. Most of the time, there is also no wrong or right answer and it is only a matter of knowing what suits you best. One question that always fills the mind of gardeners is the difference between sod and seed for their new lawns. 

Below are some important things you might want to know to help you decide if you should buy sod or seed.


  • Sod offers instant gratification. If you have plans to hold an event in your garden, sod can be laid down on the week of your party. 
  • Many garden stores offer just one type of sod. It is likely the type recommended for your place so you won’t have many options for varieties. 
  • Sod can be laid down at any given time during gardening season. 
  • Sod is free from weeds.
  • Sod is a form of crop that grows in the sun. If you purchase sod to place in shady spot, it needs to adapt to the environment.
  • Sod comes with a higher price than seed. 


  • It can be very satisfying to grow anything from seed but it can take time. You need to  live with the bare dirt for some time and you also have to limit walking on your lawn as the grass is established. 
  • There is a wide selection of grass blends and types for you to choose from. You can search online for suggestions from the local extension experts and have this list of recommendations with you when you go shopping. A crucial consideration is if your grass will grow in part shade or full sun. 
  • Timing is important. Sow seed for the cool season lawns, or the lawns that remain green during winter months, during early fall or late summer. Warm season lawns that are dormant during colder months must be seeded during summer or spring. 
  • You should watch out for weeds until grass has taken hold.
  • Sowing seed is the cheapest way to start your own lawn.

Watering is critical after you lay sod or sow seed. Seeds must be watered on a regular basis and in a light manner every two days. Deep soaking must be avoided. On the other hand, sod must be watered properly as soon as you lay it down. It should be kept moist for several weeks without being soggy until roots have been knitted to the soil. You can peel up one corner of sod you can monitor the roots.  

If you are the kind of gardener who loves taking on challenges or you are on a tight budget, you will be better off with planting seeds. You will have fun during the process and you can even see the progress you make every day once the seeds start sprouting and growing. 

On the other hand, if you are not confident with planting seeds or you are in a hurry, go for sod. In both cases, careful watering is the key to the success of your gardening venture. With the use of the right tools, you will surely cultivate a lawn you can proudly show off to everyone! 

How Often Should I Water My Lawn in Utah?

new home sprinkler system utah

Lawns in Utah generally need a minimum of one to two inches of water every week.

General Rules for Watering Lawns in Utah

  • Longer watering time is required if you are using heads of rotary nozzle style as they shoot over a longer distance compared to pop-up fan spray heads. Rotary nozzle heads also tend to be affected more by water pressure and wind. 
  • Changes in water pressure and wind change throughout the day. It can have a serious effect on the water coverage. The lowest water pressure and windiest time often occurs in the morning. 
  • Since more people water during hotter months, it means that there is less water pressure. This is why it is best to supplement with hand watering. 
  • During mid and spring season, it is important to clean your sprinkler system’s filters that include those with individual heads. 
  • Compacted and hard soil doesn’t allow water penetration. Compaction is often not uniformed, with water running off compacted areas and soaking into more porous soil. It will result to dead spots as well as overwatered grass adjacent to one another. 

Watering Your Lawn in Utah Under Weather Conditions of 90 to More than 100 Degrees

  • Water your lawn 3 to 4 times a week. 
  • Watering time should be set to achieve ½ to ¾ inch of water for each station every day.
  • Rotary style systems have an average of 40 to more than 60 minutes for each station and your watering time can vary significantly.
  • For spray heads of fan and pop-up style, the average time of watering is 25 to 35 minutes for every station with varying watering time. 

During such weather conditions, there might be a need for you to hand water certain areas since your automated sprinkler system won’t be able to uniformly cover every area under this heat. Increasing your watering time will only make you drastically overwater certain areas and you might still end up dealing with several dry dead spots.

Watering Your Lawn in Utah Under Weather Conditions of 70 to 80 Degrees

  • Water your lawn twice or thrice a week. 
  • The watering time should be set to reach half an inch of water per day per station. 
  • The average time for pop-up fan style spray heads is 15 to 25 minutes for each station.
  • For head systems of rotary style, the rotating kind that shoots far, the average is 30 to 40 minutes for each station. 

Signs of Dry Lawn in Utah

  1. The grass starts having a gray or bluish color to it. It is one of the primary signs of issues with watering. 
  2. Your footprints stay visible in the grass after walking across. When the grass is dry, it will stay flat and won’t bounce back up right away. 
  3. The soil should be moist or wet all the time. It could never be too dusty or dry not even for a single day. If you cannot form the soil to a moist ball, it means that the soil is too dry.
  4. The grass blades fold along their center vein and appear needlelike and thin. Properly watered grass will be flat and wide.