7 Lawn Care Tips For A Greener Lawn

In Ontario, herbicides were taken off the market officially as of 2009. Although this was beneficial to our environment, many homeowners were left questioning what sort of methods or techniques could be implemented to maintain a luscious and healthy green lawn. Whether you choose to have a one-time service on your lawn, or a seasonal program from a local landscaping company, Lawn Masters Peel is one of the most professional companies for Landscaping In Mississauga. Listed below are our seven simple steps to achieve and maintain a healthier, greener lawn:

1. Aerating and Thatch control
• In both spring and fall, be sure to aerate before any top dressing or fertilizing is applied
• Aerators can be provided by our landscaping services, or can be rented on your own
• Aerating relieves compacted soil allowing water to penetrate deeper, which produces deeper roots to grow
• This also created space in the soil to allow air to penetrate deep underneath
• In doing so, this will break up thatch
• Typically a healthy lawn is approximately 1 cm of thatch, and anything over 2.5 cm would be considered too much
• If the lawn is unhealthy this usually means the thatch is too thick , and will prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots in the soil
• Thatch has been known to be an insulator of insects and diseases that can tarnish your lawn
• Use a de-thatching machine or give Lawn Master’s Peel a call!

2. Improving the quality of soil
• Ideal growing conditions for grass require moist, fertile soil
• Soil that is sandy, or heavy like clay both need humus to improve the quality and texture of the soil
• A dense root system that is deeply embedded is a key factor in achieving top growth in your grass
• A minimum of approximately 10 cm of soil is needed
• For deeper roots = more soil
• Samples of soil can be sent for analysis. It will test the levels of nutrients and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and lime. An ideal level is between 6.0 and 7.0.
• Top dress your lawn with quality top soil (approx. 1cm), that includes peat moss, loam, and compost to improve the conditions of your soil
• This can also be combined with over seeding

3. Seed, Seed, and Seed some more!
• Combining top-dressing and over seeding provide you with the option of introducing drought-resistant grass mixes
• If you cannot achieve this process in the fall, it is suggested to wait until the spring if there is winter damage
• One type in particular is red fescue, which withstands both shade and drought conditions, rows well in the sun, and requires minimal fertility. It consists of fine leaves and spreads by runners
• Another type is perennial rye grass, which also withstands drought, but unlike the red rescue prefers full sun, but still can tolerate shade
• The majority of perennial rye grasses contain levels of endophytic fungus, this actually assists the roots taking up water and nutrients. Insects such as bluegrass billbugs, chinch bugs, and sod webworms are not too fond of the taste
• Perennial rye grass manages to retain its green color extremely well during higher points of heat throughout the summer

4. Mowing
• Mowing high: Approximately 6 to 8 cm (approximately 3 inches)
• Keep mower blades sharp, this is important!
• Mowing frequently is key, but do not cut no more than 1/3rd of shoot length
• By leaving clippings on the lawn, this provides a natural source of nitrogen

5. Fertilize
• This is vital to the overall health of your grass
• Fertilizing provides nutrients to outgrow weeds
• Use a fertilizer that is “slow release”, and follow the instructions accordingly
• Use a spreader to ensure an even application
• Consider using fertilizers that are organic based
• Nitrogen has to be applied manually each year
• Ensure phosphorus and potassium are stable in soil
• Fertilizing around late fall is best to increase both fall and spring root growth, which may also result in an early spring green up
• Ultimately, this should promote a thicker, healthier, and greener lawn
• Timing is extremely important – the turf has stopped growing above the soil in the fall, but the roots are still active
• Around late May and early June, re-fertilize!

6. Spot checking for insects and weeds

• If you integrate a pest management within your soil, it works just as effectively as traditional pest management methods
• Any remaining broad leafs, pull by hand
• For annual weeds, you can prevent them from flowering by mowing or hand pulling
• Grass weeds need a little more attention, and should have a pre-emergent treatment applied to prevent germination.
• Perennial rye grass mix will minimize the number of insects that could potentially be a threat to your lawn
• For grubs, you can apply a nematode spray

7. Irrigation
• A healthy lawn can remain untouched during extended periods of dry weather. It can actually survive anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks without sufficient watering
• It is recommended only to water during an extreme period of drought
• You should consider checking regularly for insects or pests, meanwhile do NOT mow, and do not fertilize!
• When you do choose to water your lawn, consider watering deep (2.5 cm), and less than once a week
• Water before 10:00 AM to avoid evaporation, but keep in mind any regional watering restrictions your township may have in place