Having a lush green lawn makes your entire property pop, whereas a yellowed dying lawn is most definitely an eyesore. Whether you want to have an attractive lawn that complements the look of your neighbourhood, or you simply want a comfortable carpet of green grass for your children to run all over, it’s essential to maintain your lawn to bring out its best.
Lawn care is so consuming because it’s both frustrating yet rewarding. Tending to brilliant green grass is a celebration of the fleeting warm weather we receive in Canada. Many people struggle to find the right balance for their lawn, however, and deal with poor soil and weeds all summer long.
If you’re scratching your head as to why the neighbour’s lawn looks like a magazine picture while yours looks like it’s crying out for help, take a look at our top lawn care and maintenance tips:
- Keep your grass long
You’ll want to mow your grass to a height of around 6 to 8 centimetres (2.5 to 3 inches). Use a mulching mower to do this as you will be feeding nitrogen-rich lawn clippings back into the soil for the new grass to benefit from. This sweet spot for lawn height will promote further growth, help prevent weeds, and make it harder for pest insects to set up shop on your lawn. Mowing a lawn is like giving your hair a trim. You don’t want to go too short and defeat the whole purpose, but taking a bit off the top regularly helps keep your grass in its best condition.
- Water generously
Aim to water your lawn with approximately one inch of water above the ground level. A good way to test if you’ve reached the right amount is placing a tuna can on your lawn and turning off your watering system once the can has been submerged. While this might seem like a lot of water, watering deeply penetrates your lawn down to the roots and helps it grow strong and healthy. Don’t overdo it with the water though; you can drown your lawn by starving it of oxygen, and too much water also makes a good habitat for disease to fester.
What you feed your lawn really does make a difference. Having good sustenance in the growing phase is key for any living thing. Feeding your lawn with quality fertilizer will make the grass stronger, better rooted in the soil, and help preserve it through drought and the elements. Neighbours with the greenest lawns are usually the most diligent about fertilizing. It may take a year or more to see a complete transformation of your lawn’s health, but it will take place. When picking a fertilizer from the garden store, notice the three numbers that make up its chemical analysis. These three numbers stand for the fertilizer’s nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron levels.
- Get in the weeds
Weeds compete with grass for real estate and nutrients, and mar an otherwise perfectly green lawn. Get rid of weeds such as dandelions one by one using a long-handed weeder. If you are completely inundated with weeds, or would like to employ a long-term solution so as not to have to deal with the buggers again, plant some lawn right over them. Just as weeds compete with grass, grass competes with weeds. You can stack the odds in your grass’s favour by doing the following:
- Rake the weeded area.
- Spread 1-1.5 inches of lawn soil over top.
- Sprinkle good quality lawn seed over the entire surface. The ratio of seed to square footage should be 1 kg to over 100 m.
- Rake the seed and the soil together to combine and ensure everything is turned over.
- Flatten the mixture by walking on it with flat shoes or by using a lawn roller to smooth it all out.
- Water the mixture until saturated and keep the site moist until the grass is beginning to sprout.
There are commercial pesticides and herbicides on the market, but they should be used sparingly due to their impact on local ecology. In many areas, pesticides are banned for residential use, so it’s better to attempt dealing with lawn issues the natural way first.
Having an amazing lawn doesn’t have to be a distant goal. There’s no great mystery to lawn maintenance. Just feed, water, and weed your lawn properly and you’ll get out what you put into it. Then, maybe neighbours will be scoping out your yard for their lawn inspiration!
In The Backyard brings over 40 years of combined experience to indoor/outdoor renovations, woodworking, and custom shed solutions. If we can get you enjoying your home inside and out a bit more, then we know we’ve done our jobs. We serve Stoney Creek, Ontario and the surrounding area, so give us a call at 1-844-208-8425 or contact us here.