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"How to Achieve a Lush and Healthy Lawn: Top Tips for Successful Lawn Growth"


If you think about it, having a patch of constant manicured grass, is probably one of the most unnatural landscapes mankind has ever come up with, yet we find ourselves season after season trying to get the best lawn on the block, from watering to weeding and everything in between.


Maintaining a healthy lawn may seem overwhelming. We have compiled a short step by step guide to growing the most luscious lawn your neighbours will envy. The Key to achieving the greenest lawn, is using the proper care techniques at the appropriate time year. Once you continue these steps, each season gets easier and easier as the grass gets stronger and stronger.


Step 1 I Aerating and Thatch Control


Aerating

Aerating is commonly overlooked and can be very time consuming if you don't have the right equipment. This step is very important to the health of your lawn as it decompresses compacted soil. This allows space in the soil for water to penetrate deep , creating deeper roots. It also allows for penetration of air and important nutrients. Aerating should be done in the spring and fall before top dressing or fertilizing.

If you are not prepared to invest in an aerator just yet, there are many local companies that rent them or provide aerating services.



De-Thatching

If you are wondering what Thatch is, you are probably not alone. Thatch is the layer of build up between the grass and the soil. Its usually a build up of dead grass and old roots. A healthy lawn has about 1 cm of thatch. If you have more than 2.5 cm this can be a lawn killer. As the root systems in the lawn develop, if the thatch is too thick the roots will most likely not make it through the thatch to the soil. Just like aerating, many lawn companies offer de-thatching services or machines can be purchased or rented at your local hardware store.


Step 2 I Improving The Quality Of Your Soil


The number one rule to remember when it comes to soil - more soil equals deeper roots. A minimum of 10 cm of soil is needed for a healthy lawn, grass grows best in a moist fertile soil that is not waterlogged. A deep dense root system is most important to support top growth in grass, this is unachievable with poor soil conditions. If you are having trouble with your soil conditions, consider sending a samples off to a local lab for an analysis. The results should indicate the Potassium, PH, Lime. and Phosphorus levels. The optimum PH level for grass is between 6.0 and 7.0.


To improve soil conditions, top dress your lawn with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of a good quality top dressing mix. The best ones consist of loam, peat moss and compost. To go one step further you can combine this step with overseeding as well.


Step 3 I Overseed


Top-dressing and overseeding are ideal chances to incorporate a drought resistant grass mix.

The best time to do this is late summer/early fall, but it can be done in spring. Make sure you do your research on what seeds you are planting as there are many different kinds of grass.


Step 4 I Mowing


Cut height should be at 6 to 8 cm (approx. 3 in.).

Mowing frequency depends on the weather. Once the grass is at the desired height, mow about once a week but take off no more than 1/3 of the blade length. Leaving the clippings on the lawn afterwards with provide a natural source of nitrogen.


Step 5 I Fertilizing


There are many benefits to fertilizing your lawn. As it is food for your lawn it tends to beef up the grass creating a beautiful thicker lawn. Having a thicker lawn means having a strong root system. This in turn leaves little to no room for weeds to grow. The strong grass system suffocates the weeds out leaving just luscious green grass. The easiest way to apply fertilizer is with a push spreader, these are the best for even applications.


The two important things to remember with fertilizing is timing of the application and what kind of fertilizer are you using. A late fall fertilizing is great to promote spring root growth and a greener grass earlier. Follow up in late May, early June for a late spring fertilization. If you are having problems with crab grass, consider treating it with corn gluten meal.



If you have a nice established lawn already with a good root system, the grass root system can search out phosphorous in the soil. Since the soil is stable it will contain phosphorous and potassium, when searching for a fertilizer for your established turf look for a phosphorus - free fertilizer. Nitrogen should still be applied each year.


Step 6 I Weeds & Pests


Take your time at the beginning of every spring, when you grass is turning green to do a walk around your lawn to see what condition it is in. This is a good time to physically remove weeds from your lawn before they get too established when the nicer weather arrives.

Many people have issues with grubs in their lawn and most people don't even know it. When you have an infestation of grubs it forces the grass to mimic going through a drought. This is the grub eating the grass root system underground and killing off the grass slowly leaving it shriveled and brown. To top it off racoons and other night creatures love grubs so you could be waking up to a lawn full of divots if your not careful.

The good news is grubs are one of the easiest insects to control naturally. Applying a nematode spray found at your local hardware store is a quick and convenient spray that attaches right to your hose for spraying ease.


Step 7 I Irrigating


Your lawn is quite resilient especially during the hot summer months. If you are experiencing extended dry periods, your grass will go dormant and can survive four to six weeks without adequate watering. During this extreme drought it is ok to let a healthy lawn go dormant. Only water the grass during this time is if your lawn is under stress or it is freshly laid sod.



When your grass goes into a dormant phase it becomes more susceptible to infestation and disease. It is very important to check regularly for pests. When your grass is dormant follow these rules:

a). Stop Mowing

b). Do not Fertilize

c). Keep foot traffic off

d). Inspect for disease / insects.

If you choose to water

Water deeply: 2.5 cm (one inch).

Water infrequently: Less than once a week.

Water before 10:00 a.m. to avoid evaporation and for best health.


Following these guidelines and steps should get you the grass of your dreams. And if all else fails, we can come with install some artificial turf, for the lowest maintenance lawn ever!




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