Simple Lawn Maintenance Tips

A patch of fresh green grass

Keeping Your Lawn Looking Great Is Easy

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.

Here are a few strategies and common questions asked for how to maintain a healthy lawn.

When Should 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.

A calendar listing the days of the week

How Often Should I Water My Lawn In The Summer?

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.

A sprinkler spraying water on a field of grass

Using a lawn sprinkler in the hot summer months is a perfect way to keep your yard slightly damp and evenly watered.

What Are Those Ugly Yellow Patches In My Lawn?

Yellow patches found on your lawn are called “thatch”. Thatch is a matted layer of roots and dead grass that forms on top of the soil. This causes your healthy green grass to suffocate and turn yellow. Lack of water reaching the roots of the grass will result in your lawn becoming prone to drying out, disease, and insect infestation. An easy way to spot thatch is when you see water pooling in areas of your lawn when watering it. An easy way to remove thatching is by vigorously raking your lawn at the beginning (early spring) and end (fall) of each season. After raking your lawn, bag all of the thatch and grass. After removing the thatch from your yard, the grass should should now be fertilized and seeded. This will help promote growth of a healthy, green lawn.

A grassy field with brown patches of dry grass in need of aeration

Thatch is a naturally occurring problem with any yard. Be sure to remove thatch before it becomes a big problem and ruins your lawn.

Should I Rake And Bag My Grass Clippings After Mowing My Lawn?

If you have problems with thatch then the clippings can encourage the growth of even more thatch. 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 to your yard’s soil.

A metal rake in the grass

Raking and collecting grass clippings and debris is vital in preventing thatch. But be sure to only rake if your lawn shows signs of distress.

What Happens If I Over-water My Lawn?

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.

A patch of grass with deep puddles of water left over from overwatering from the rain, or a sprinkler

Over-watering your lawn causes more harm than good. Soil should be slightly damp and water should not pool in your yard when watering

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.

A person with a watch on their wrist checking the time

Water your lawn early in the morning before the sun gets too hot to keep your lawn from "burning"

What About Rainwater? Is It Better For My Lawn?

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.

A wooden barrel connected to a gutter’s downspout attached to the side of a house

Collecting rainwater for use in your yard and garden is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to return naturally-occurring nutrients to your lawn. You can also keep your water bill down during the hot summer months.

Regularly Aerating Your Lawn Also Keeps Grass Lush And Green
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