How do I maintain a healthy lawn throughout the year?
By Paul Dumaresq, Jeff's Outdoor Landscape Consultant
A lush, green lawn is something every homeowner strives for, but to ensure your effort is rewarded, it’s important to be aware of the best lawn care techniques.
A thick, healthy lawn not only looks great, but it also provides several lesser-known benefits:
- Creates oxygen and helps remove harmful emissions from the air
- Helps filter pollutants from groundwater
- Dampens sound to reduce noise pollution
- Acts as a deterrent to weeds and insects
- Reduces the erosion of the soil on your property
Here, we outline several tips to manage and maintain a healthy lawn throughout the year.
1. Mowing - Never too short
Mow your lawn to an ideal 3-inch height and never shorter than 2.5 inches. This protects the roots from getting burnt by the sun or becoming dehydrated. Any shorter than 2.5 inches makes your lawn more susceptible to weeds.
In the spring and fall, collect the clippings to prevent them from suffocating your lawn’s roots. In the summer, don’t mow your lawn at all during periods of dormancy—when it appears dry and somewhat “crispy”—to avoid damaging the grass’s cell structure, which can cause it to die and allow weeds to take hold.
2. Fertilizing - 4 x 6
Try to fertilize your lawn at least four times throughout the growing season, every six weeks. Make sure you use a high quality fertilizer with a good slow-release urea coating. Apply fertilizer evenly to prevent burning and inconsistent growth.
3. Water the right amount at the right time
In the summer, during periods when there hasn't been any rain, water your lawn every three days for 20 minutes per area. Early morning is the best time to water your lawn because it’s slower to dry and doesn’t experience excessive evaporation. Watering in the evening can increase the risk of grass diseases, but if evenings are the only time you have available to water, then do so. It’s better to water in the evening than to let the lawn dry out.
If you notice your lawn seems waterlogged after heavy rainfall, it may benefit from aeration to loosen up the soil for better drainage.
4. Watch for pest damage
Be on the lookout for odd patterns of browning patches, especially after the end of June. This can be an indication of insects eating your lawn’s roots.
5. Broadcast seed your lawn each year shortly after Thanksgiving
Late fall is the best time of year for broadcast seeding—scattering seeds over large areas—because this is the time of year that retailers will be clearing out their inventory, offering great prices. Fall seeding means you’ll see new germination in the spring, thickening your lawn’s roots. Broadcast seeding also helps choke out weeds.
6. Avoid lawn rolling
Rolling a lawn condenses the soil, interfering with the desired natural root spread by preventing air and moisture flow. Don’t do it!
7. Consider a lawn care service program
If you’re a busy homeowner who’d like some help maintaining your lawn, we offer a range of lawn care programs to suit your needs. We can handle as much or as little as you’d prefer, from fertilization and mowing to weed and pest control. Our friendly team will keep your lawn healthy and lush. Need some help with your lawn care?
Visit our landscape maintenance page to explore our plans.