LAWN Care - tips!

Your LAWN is the source of your property pride!

Having a healthy and beautiful lawn is feast for your neighbours eyes! A lawn that has good nutrition on a regular schedule is noticable. It is:

  • Thick, luxurious and has luscious color

  • Has no empty space for weeds to grow

  • Has strong blades, dense and far-spreading roots

 

Just a little effort goes a far way in getting that beautiful green carpet of grass that enhances the value and beauty of your neighborhood and community.

 

So what is the science behind a luscious green lawn?

 

1) Fertilizing   2) Aerating   3) Seeding   4) Watering   5) Mowing

FERTILIZING

Need optimal grass growth? Give your grass a steady diet of nutrients.

 

Fertilize your lawn at least 3-5 times annually. Even though many nutrients occur naturally in soil, the soil is unable to supply your grass as fast as it grows or in the quantities that grass call for them.

 

Good nutrition for your lawn is the result of a balanced fertilizer program that supplies the right nutrition in the correct amounts at the best time for your lawn. The ideal fertilizer program is one that provides uniform growth throughout the season.

 

It is important to note that lawns will survive without fertilizer. However, the quality deteriorates over time causing your lawn to become deficient and unable to ward off diseases.

 

What are signs of lawn deterioration?

  • Luscious green turns pale

  • Becomes thin over time

  • Weeds move in

  • Diseases and insects attack

 

The more fertilizer a lawn receives the better it looks. However, overfertilizing can be bad too.

  • Overfertilization stimulates leaf growth at the expense of the roots

  • Root system becomes thin and shallow

  • Lawn cannot stand up to heat and drought

  • Diseases and insects attack

  • Lawn becomes filled with thatch

 

Bottomline - applying the proper amount of fertilizer will result in a lawn with fewer weed, insect and disease problems.

 

When is the best time to fertilize?

When your lawn is actively growing so that the fertilizer will enhance root growth and food storage.

 

Most growth occurs during spring and fall. During the summer, growth slows as the grass waits out the heat. When temperatures cool in fall, the lawn resumes growth, but now it is storing food for the winter ahead.

 

The biggest feeding time should be in late summer and fall. The late summer feeding is to thicken the strand and grow healthy roots. The fall feeding (a month or so) is to winterize the lawn to build food reserves for the cold period ahead.

 

In spring, the first feeding should be around late April (coincide with your first mowing) and the second feeding in about a month or so.

 

It is important to know the quality of your soil. The health of your lawn is linked directly to the quality of your soil.

 

Soil tests are the most accurate gauge of a lawn's pH and need for phosphorus and potassium.

 

Superior care

We, your property maintenance experts will do the rest! We ensure the:

 

  • proper application of fertilizers through regular monitoring

  • identification and control of weeds

  • diagnosis of problems caused by pests, insects and disease

  • use of other services needed for optimal growth - aeration, seeding, top soil, soil conditioner, soil Ph analysis

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As a property owner, you plays a key role in the care of your lawn i.e., watering.  Rule of thumb:

 

  • Established lawns - one inch of water per week

  • New sod - one inch of water 2 to 3 times per week for the first 3 weeks after which time, follow instructions above for established lawns

  • New grass seed - lightly water 2 to 3 times per day for 4 to 6 weeks  as seeds must stay moist until lawn is established

 

 

Lawns need nutrients

 

The majority of lawns need regular fertilizing to stay thick and healthy. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, your local garden centre will have a number of high quality options for slow release fertilizer. Do yourself a favour and measure the square footage of your lawn before you go shopping, so you know how much to buy. Follow the directions to the letter to avoid disappointment and clean up fertilizer that hits your driveway, sidewalk or road. Never ever spread it by hand.

 

Seed, seed and more seed

 

The most effective way to combat weeds is to have a thick lawn. Applying a good quality seed, once in the spring and once in the early fall will pay big dividends. Over the course of a season or two, you will see a marked difference in your lawn. Be sure to keep the seed out of your flower and shrub beds, and off patios or walkways (otherwise you will be picking grass shoots out of your garden all summer). You can put the seed on with a spreader, or even by hand if you wish.

 

Mowing

 

An essential part of keeping a lawn healthy is regular mowing. Generally speaking, mowing your lawn once a week will be sufficient. If you are feeling energetic, mowing twice a week during the month of May will produce a markedly thicker lawn, which is without a doubt, the best way to fight weeds. Regardless of what kind of mower you have, keep the blades sharp, and cut at a height of six to eight cm (two to three inches). Unless you want to give your lawn the slow kiss of death, mowing once every two weeks or less is really not recommended. A steady diet of infrequent mowing will cause your lawn to thin out—a lot! When it is extremely hot, do not mow during the middle part of the day.

 

Water

 

Lawns need an inch of water per week. Rainfall is always better than the tap, so if your lawn is hanging in there with Mother Nature’s elixir, there is no need to pull out the sprinkler. If though, your lawn has not seen any appreciable moisture for three weeks or more, it’s time to take notice. It is customary to let your lawn go dormant in the summer, and that’s ok — to a point! If your lawn has gone three weeks or more without any appreciable moisture, it’s time to give it a drink. You don’t need to soak it, but leaving the sprinkler on for 15-20 minutes per spot, will give it enough water to stay alive, and once cooler temperatures and fall rains return, it will bounce back. Thousands of homeowners across the province lost turf due to drought last summer, and could have avoided the problem by giving their lawns a sip once a week during the dry spell.

 

Aeration

 

If your lawn is rock hard, it needs a breather — literally. Aeration allows much-needed oxygen to get to the roots. Spring or fall is great time to do it, by either renting one or having a lawn service do it for you. If you rent one, go over your lawn at least twice.

 

Grubs

 

If chunks of your lawn come up, and you see a white grub sitting on the soil surface, you have a problem. The only alternative available this year is the use of nematodes. These are tiny tiny worm-like creatures that when correctly applied, will do serious damage to a grub. You can can purchase them from your local garden centre to apply on your own, or Magenta Lawn & Property Care can do it for you. Nematodes must be kept refrigerated until you apply them. If you buy from a store, be sure they have been kept refrigerated. A word of CAUTION: you must follow directions to the letter, because if you don’t, you will have wasted time, money, and your lawn. If you have animals digging for grubs this spring, you can try applying nematodes, but control can be spotty. Applying nematodes in the early fall gives you a much better chance of controlling them. If you are applying nematodes yourself, be sure to speak with the experts at your local garden centre to make sure you are buying the correct species for Canadian lawns. Make sure you buy enough to apply 50 million nematodes for every 1000 sq. ft. of lawn, and follow the directions.

 

Weeds

 

As mentioned before, a thick lawn is the best defense against weeks. There is a do-it-yourself product for lawns available at your local store. If you buy, make sure the label says it is for “use on lawns.” Lawn care companies are licensed to apply a similar product, and can effectively control most common weed problems.

 

Crabgrass

 

Last year was an outstanding year for crabgrass. It was everywhere—so what can be done? There is evidence that corn gluten meal applied at very high rates will have some measure of effectiveness. You cannot seed those areas, though, for several weeks after treatment. An alternative is to overseed with a light topdressing of compost, early in the spring in the hope of thickening your lawn so it can out-compete the germinating crabgrass seeds.

 

Lawn insects

 

Aside from grubs, there are other insects that can plague your lawn. If you have brown spots, and there has been sufficient moisture to prevent drought, you could likely have an insect problem. If you are unable to find the culprits, consult Magenta Lawn & Property Care for a detailed analysis.

 

Topdressing

 

Adding compost that is free of weeds can be very beneficial. You don’t need to bury the lawn…a light coating of a quarter-inch will be sufficient. Be wary of manures that are not composted—they could contain a lot of weed seeds.