Having a lovely green lawn without any weeds are something many home owners desire. When it comes to preserving a healthy lawn most would think that all you need to do is water it and cut it. As much as we would love to believe that, it is furthest from the truth. In fact, the only way your lawn could uphold a dark green colour without weeds is by maintaining it early, and often. This doesn’t mean that you need to stress out if you forget to water it, or forbid your children not to play on it. As long as your grass has some general maintenance you will be pleased with the end result.
A few strategies and common questions asked for how to possess a healthy lawn are as followed:
WHEN DO I START WATERING MY LAWN?
In most places in Canada our spring weather usually provides a mix of rain, sun, and clouds. During the early spring months (March-May) very little, if any watering needs to be done. During the hot and dry months (June-August) you should start watering your lawn 2-3 times/week.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO WATER MY LAWN IN PEAK MONTHS?
There are many things that play a vital role when trying to determine how often one should water their lawn. It has been said that homeowners should water there lawn once a week. I cannot say that I agree with this theory. I believe two or three times a week is best. It is ideal to provide about an inch of water each time you are using a hose or sprinkling system. A tip is to use empty tuna cans and place them around your lawn. This method makes it easier to distinguish how much water your lawn has received.
WHAT ARE THOSE YELLOW PATCHES ON MY LAWN?
Yellow patches found on your lawn are called “thatch”
. Thatch is a matted layer of roots that form on top of the soil. This causes your grass to suffocate and turn yellow. Lack of water reaching the roots will result in your lawn becoming prone to disease, and insects. A way to spot thatch is when you see water pooling in areas of your lawn when watering it. [frame align=”left”][/frame]A great way to remove thatching is by vigorously raking your lawn at the beginning (early spring) and ending (fall) of each season. After raking your lawn, bag all of the thatch and grass. Your lawn should now be fertilized and seeded. This will help with new growth.
WHAT IS LAWN AERATION? IS IT NECESSARY?
I always like to compare health care with home care. When one exercises, he will see results. When one exercises and eats healthy he will see better results at a faster rate.But obviously, this is common sense.
Even if your lawn looks great, applying fertilizer at the beginning, and end of each season helps with your lawn care. However, you will see better results when you aerate AND fertilize. By doing so, you will accomplish the full benefits of achieving and/or maintaining a healthy lawn.
One way to remove thatch is to rake it with a strong metal rake (similar to the one in the picture). The key in raking is to strip your lawn from all old roots and grass. Specifically thatch. I have done this before and it is not fun. This method will really take a lot of time, and energy.
An easier, and more effective method of removing hatch is having your lawn aerated. A core/plug aerator removes soil from the ground and leaves the core on the turf. This reduces compaction in the soil. When your lawn is compacted it does not breathe as well as it could. The soil cores that are pulled from the grass result in air, fertilizer, and water being able to reach the roots, thus benefit the grass. You can either rent an aerator machine or have Seal of Approval do it for roughly $35 – $85 (nearly the same cost as rental fees). It is suggested you have this done once in the spring and once in the fall. For more information on lawn aeration please click here.
SHOULD I RAKE AND BAG MY GRASS CLIPPINGS?
If you have problems with thatch then the clippings can encourage the growth of even more hatch. You may want to rake only if you have just cut very long grass and there is thatch present.
However, clippings for the most part are generally very beneficial to the lawn when you have healthy, bio-active soil. The grass clippings decompose and recycle in as little as two weeks and help provide nutrients and organic matter.
IS OVER WATERING MY LAWN A BAD THING?
Yes. Over watering your lawn is equally as damaging as not watering it enough. Adding too much water to your lawn will actually wash away important nutrients while removing oxygen from the soil. The removal of oxygen lends itself to shallow roots, which promotes the invasion of weeds.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WATER MY LAWN?
The best time of day to water your lawn is early in the morning before the sun rises. I know the last thing you want to do is wake up early just to water your lawn. The thing is, your grass benefits from watering at this time the most. It allows some of the water to absorb before the hot sun hits. At the very least water your lawn just before the sun starts to set. Watering your lawn during hot/sunny periods of the day may when the sun is at its peak may simply “deep-fry” your green grass, turning it yellow rather than leaving it lush and green. The worst thing to do is water your grass at night. This will promote the growth of disease because the water simply sits on the lawn all night rather than being absorbed.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH RAINWATER
Rainwater is the best resource for your lawn. Tap water is treated with chlorine and chemicals. I highly suggest you purchase a rain barrel from home depot. Not only will you save money on utility bills but the absence of those very chemicals that apparently make tap water “safe for drinking” makes rainwater a better choice for your outdoor watering needs.