Lawn Care

Proper Maintenance for a Healthier Lawn

*A Step by Step Program*

Maintaining a healthy lawn provides aesthetic appeal, self-satisfaction and helps to provide a framework for the rest of the garden.

A regular maintenance program should include the following items:

Aeration: This is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. An aerator pulls plugs of soil from the lawn.  The plugs should be left on the lawn to decompose, adding back organic matter.  Aeration allows for increased drainage, water and nutrients to be available to the root zone.

Fertilizing or Liming:  Following aeration an application of fertilizer, organic topdressing or lime will be beneficial.  Lime and fertilizer should be separated by 14 days in order to be most effective.  A typical summer fertilizer will be high in Nitrogen (e.g. 32-4-8). Chemical fertilizer will feed the lawn for about 2 months.  Organic fertilizer such as Milorganite (5-2-0) will feed the lawn for about 3 months.  Milorganite is also high in Iron, which will provide a greener lawn.  Left over Milorganite can then be used on ornamental beds. Lawns should be fertilized 3-4 times per year. Lime should be added 1-2 times per year as lawns like a slightly alkaline soil and our soils are slightly acidic. A regular fertilization program will promote healthy grass growth and reduce weed growth.

Topdressing: Top Dress your lawn with 'Premium Mix' (75% Compost and 25% sand) after aeration. This will increase drainage and provide valuable nutrients.  This is also a good opportunity to overseed any sparse areas. Be sure to keep the newly seeded areas moist, but not wet!

Dethatching: At some point during the life of your lawn it may be necessary to 'comb or dethatch'. Thatch build up can occur when a lawn is poorly maintained.  Thatch prevents water and nutrients from reaching the roots and can affect plant health.  If you dethatch your lawn then you should perform the points above in order stated.

Cutting and Trimming: Trimming can be done every other cut.  Horizontal and vertical trimming will help prevent grass from growing into your garden beds.  It is imperative that the mower blades are sharp.  A sharp blade will 'cut' the grass, where a dull blade will 'tear' the grass.  Dull blades wound the grass, which creates a potential problem.  You should alternate your cuts.  One week cut in one direction, next week cut perpendicular to that cut.  This will help prevent compaction if always following the same cutting pattern.