Wondering how to get your lawn looking as good as your neighbour’s? All it really takes is some careful maintenance with regular mowing, watering, fertilizing and aerating once in a while. Once you nail down these basic care tips, your lawn will become more resilient to disease and weeds and will require less time and effort to maintain.
Sharpen Mower Blades & Adjust Height
Many homeowners take their lawnmower out of the garage and just fire it up without making adjustments before using it. But this can do more harm than good to your grass. Always ensure that the blade is sharp and the height is adjusted according to the time of year. In our cooler climate here in Ottawa, set the blade to 1-1/2 inches during the first few cuts. This will trim the top layers of dead grass and expose more of the grass blades so the roots can soak up more sunlight. After a few weeks, once the summer weather kicks off, we recommend raising the height of the mower blade to 2 inches to protect the roots from the sun once the temperature really heats up.
Give The Grass A Deep Soaking
Another important maintenance tip for keeping your grass green and healthy is giving it a deep soaking rather than a light spray along the surface. Your lawn should be getting 1 to 2 inches of water each week and every three to four days (or less it’s there’s rain). If you have clay soil, it will likely only require half as much watering, and with sand-based soil, you may need to double up with watering. Try to only water during the early morning to prevent mould and disease from developing during the night.
Leave Some Lawn Clippings
After mowing your lawn and adjusting the mower blade to cut the top one-third of the grass blades, leave those light layers of grass clippings on the surface. As this decomposes, it will release nitrogen, reduce the rate of evaporation, and hinder weed growth. However, if your blade is set too low, your grass clippings can include the stemmy part of the grass which can weigh it down and prevent healthy growth. For cool-climate grass in Canada, aim to keep your grass length around 3 to 4 inches.
Apply The Right Fertilizers At The Right Time
Fertilizers can be great for delivering some much-needed nutrients to keep your grass thick and to keep weeds at bay. But it’s important to select the right type and apply it at the right time. Consult with your local garden centre to determine which type is best suited for your grass and soil, and always follow the instructions carefully.
Aerate The Lawn
Aerating your lawn provides many benefits – most notably, it helps it breathe more easily. This involves removing small plugs of soil throughout the turf. It’s particularly important to do if your soil is very compact. These small holes let more oxygen, nutrients, and fertilizer reach the roots of the grass, which allows them to grow nice and strong.
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