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Keep your lawn looking lush and beautiful this year!

 

Using a natural approach to lawn care helps build long lasting, sustainable results. Following a good lawn maintenance program will ensure a thick, healthy lawn.

 

Spring Lawn Care

            Caring for your lawn starts in early spring as the soil warms up and the roots become active and the grass begins to grow.

Spring is the time for:

q     top dressing with compost,

q     re-seeding with quality grass seed

q     spring fertilizing

q     applying  pest & weed controls for problems experienced in the previous growing season

Watering: Watering at this time should only be done if needed as the ground tends to be saturated with moisture from the thawing of winter. Be careful not to walk across water soaked lawns as heavy traffic can damage the grass and roots.

 Top dressing: Top dressing your lawn with high quality compost each spring helps improve soil structure, adds organic matter, adds beneficial organisms and helps retain moisture within the lawn.  Half an inch of compost should be spread evenly over the entire lawn and worked in using a fan rake or push broom.  This process can be done or repeated in fall if desired.

 Re-seeding: A lawn should be re-seeded to strengthen it as grass plants begin to thin out from seasonal stress or traffic. Spread seed evenly over the lawn area using a broadcast spreader or drop-spreader, rolling the seed afterwards to make sure the seed comes into contact with the soil.  Keep the soil evenly and lightly moist to encourage germination and growth. Re-seeding should be done in spring or early fall while temperatures are between 16oC and 20oC and water is more readily available in the soil.

 Fertilizing: Your spring fertilizing is the first of 3 feedings you should provide your lawn through out the season. A slow release, granular fertilizer high in Nitrogen (N) is ideal (i.e. 8-2-3) to provide food evenly and gradually over the entire spring and prevents burning of the lawn.  Nitrogen aids in the formation and function of chlorophyll which provides food for the grass plant.  The second and third numbers, Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), aid the grass in root growth and overall health and stress resistance respectively.

 Weed Control: A healthy, thick lawn helps weeds from spreading and becoming unmanageable. Hand weeding existing annual and perennial weeds before they set seed is an important step to weed prevention. An early application of Weed Prevent Corn Gluten Meal Herbicide prevents annual weeds including dandelions and crab grass seeds from germinating. Over seeding your lawn with quality grass seed helps thicken the lawn to prevent spaces for weeds to grow. Wait at least 4 weeks after application of Corn Gluten Meal to sow grass seed as it can inhibit germination of grass seed as well.    

Pest Control: A thick and healthy lawn is the best way to keep pests and diseases from ruining your lawn. The most common pest problems that affect lawns in early spring are large brown, or dead patches that lift easily from the soil which are caused by white grubs.

 White Grubs: If skunks or raccoons are digging up your lawn it is a sure sign you have lawn grubs. Beneficial Nematodes are natural microscopic worms, that when applied to your lawn, will kill white grubs.  Nematodes are NON TOXIC, safe for people, pets, plants, earthworms and beneficial insects. Beneficial Nematodes are very simple to use - mix with water and apply to affected area. Best applied twice per season. They can be applied any time the soil is wet enough and the soil temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius.

 

Summer Lawn Care

            Summer is a time when pest and diseases are out in full force and water is scarce. With proper care you can help keep your lawn green and stress free.

Summer is the time for:

  q     deep watering once a week

  q     increase mower height

  q     summer fertilizing

  q     weed control

Watering: One thorough watering penetrating an inch into the soil is ALL that is required in a week.  Shallow, frequent watering encourages roots to grow closer to the surface making them susceptible to pests, diseases and drought stress. A deep watering once a week encourages roots to grow deep and strong. These strong deep roots will allow the lawn to continue growing vigorously and resist numerous summer stresses.

Mowing: As the heat of the season increases, be sure to raise the cutting height of your lawn mower to its highest setting.  The taller the grass is, the deeper the roots penetrate down through the soil giving it access to greater amounts of water and nutrients in the soil. In addition the tall grass helps cool the soil, provides shade and helps retain much needed moisture for the lawn.

Fertilizing: A second feeding with a slow release, granular fertilizer in the late May, early June continues to keep your lawn green, thick and healthy.  Fertilize only when the lawn is dry. 

Dormancy: Grass plants grown in Ontario are cool season grasses which thrive in cooler temperatures. Without adequate water and food, these grasses naturally go dormant as a defense, turning yellow-brown and dry looking. During dormancy the grass plants can be more easily damaged by traffic, pests and diseases. Watering as described above will keep your lawn green and thriving through the hot, dry weather. 

Weed Control: Make sure to pull up and destroy the weeds in you garden to help prevent them from spreading to your lawn. Hand weeding existing annual and perennial weeds before they set seed is an important step to weed prevention. A summer application of Weed Prevent Corn Gluten Meal Herbicide prevents annual weeds including dandelions and crab grass seeds from germinating.

Fall Lawn Care

            Fall is the time to for the lawns last feeding and activities such as de-thatching, aerating, and re-seeding if necessary.  Watering at this time should only be done if needed.  Seasonal storms and cooling weather keep the ground wet providing enough water for young and established grass plants to thrive.

Fall is the time for:

 q     fall fertilizing

 q     de-thatching

 q     aerating

 q     top dressing & re-seeding with quality grass seed

 q     weed control

De-thatching: Thatch is a natural and beneficial layer of dead and dying organic matter between the soil surface and the grass made up of grass stems, stolens, rhizomes, crowns, leaves and bark, which acts as a natural mulch.  De-thatching is the process of removing this layer and is simply done with a thatch rake or hard rake. A layer of Thatch should be no thicker than , any thicker and it inhibits the penetration of water and fertilizer into the soil and acts as a home for pests and diseases.

Aeration: is done by puncturing and removing small plugs, or cores, from the soil to allow air, water and grass roots to penetrate into a compacted soil zone.  Late summer, early fall is the best time because the lawn is strong and vigorous, and can easily choke out any weed seeds that are brought to the surface from the plugs.

Top dressing & Re-seeding: Fall is another great time to top dress and re-seed your lawn. The cooler temperatures aid in quick germination of grass seeds and another layer of compost continues to help improve soil structure and encourage beneficial organisms in the soil.

Fertilizing: Now is the time for a quick snack to ensure your lawn makes it through the winter strong and healthy. Fall fertilizing encourages the roots to feed and store food for the next season so it can reawaken with health and vigor. A fall fertilizer will have a lower Nitrogen (N) count and a higher Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) (i.e. 4-2-9) to encourage root growth and health of the plant.

Weed Control: Keeping the population of weeds manageable in the fall will help you later in the spring. Hand weeding existing annual and perennial weeds before they set seed is an important step to weed prevention. A fall application of Weed Prevent Corn Gluten Meal Herbicide after the summer heat passes helps prevent annual weeds including dandelions and crab grass seeds from germinating. Over seeding your lawn with quality grass seed helps thicken the lawn to prevent spaces for weeds to grow. Wait at least 4 weeks after application of Corn Gluten Meal to sow grass seed as it can inhibit germination of grass seed as well.