Maintaining a healthy lawn involves implementing expert lawncare practices throughout the growing season – proper mowing, fertilizing, irrigation and de-thatching provide a dense, healthy, superior looking lawn.
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The importance of good lawncare practices are often overlooked; mowing has a major influence on the turf density, uniformity and aesthetic quality of a home lawn. It is also the most repetitious and time-consuming maintenance practice and is often done incorrectly – Hire a professional!
Understanding and implementing a well-balanced fertilizer program is one of the most important factors in maintaining an attractive healthy lawn. The three main nutrients required by lawns are:
- nitrogen (N)
- phosphorus (P)
- potassium (K)
Nitrogen promotes dark green colour, leaf and blade development, and density of the turf. Phosphorus is important for good root and rhizome development and promotes plant maturity. Potassium contributes to the general vigour of the plant and promotes wear, drought tolerance and winter hardiness.
When normal rainfall does not provide enough moisture during the growing season, grass goes dormant and turns brown. To ensure a high-quality lawn, the lawn must be watered. Signs that a lawn needs water include:
- grass blades folding inward
- footprints remain while walking across the lawn
- a slight change in colour to dark green-blue
Frequency and Timing
Water in the early morning when there is little or no wind. This provides more even water distribution. Water before midday, when the evaporation rate is the lowest. Watering can be done in the evening, but this may encourage disease development. Most disease-causing fungi require several hours of leaf wetness for infections and disease to occur.
Overseeding and Sodding
Overseeding is a method of thickening up a lawn that has become thin or damaged by insects, diseases, weeds, drought, excessive traffic or other types of damage. To ensure success, add compost, peat or topsoil before overseeding. Overseed at double the seeding rate for establishing a new lawn. The best time to overseed a lawn is in the fall (mid-August to mid-September). Keep the overseeded area moist by watering several times a day. One week after seeding, reduce watering to twice a day until seedlings are established.
Sodding is another method of repairing damaged lawns. Cut out dead or damaged areas to a depth of roughly 4 cm. Rake the soil, add fertilizer and place the sod on top of the soil. Insure good sod/soil contact by stepping on the sod or rolling it. For the best results, sod should be watered within an hour of being laid. Water sod frequently and make sure it does not dry out until it is fully rooted. Newly sodded areas will be rooted in 10 days to 2 weeks.