Six Tips for Maintaining a Green and Healthy Lawn this Spring
Now that the weather is warming up and the first signs of spring have reached your yard, it is time to start preparing your lawn for the summer ahead. From backyard barbecues to family yard games, having a healthy lawn is a must for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities in the spring and summer. However, the winter snow and ice can wreak havoc on Ontario lawns. As a result, proper lawn care needs to start as soon as the snow melts, making it important to address your yard issues as early as possible.
Take a look at these tips to ensure your lawn stays green, lush, and healthy this season.
1. Identify drainage issues
Turf and grass can be damaged after being covered by snow and ice for prolonged periods. A lack of proper drainage makes it more difficult for your lawn to expel the water that comes from melting ice and snow, leaving pools of water left to sit on your grass; this makes it very difficult for new grass to sprout. To ensure your grass comes back healthy and green in the spring, proper drainage is a must.
First, make sure your turf slopes away from your house, so run-off water does not cause leaks in your home or compromise the integrity of your basement walls. If your lawn slopes away naturally, you should have an easier time draining water in the spring. If not, you may need professional landscaping assistance to protect your yard from flooding. This can include garden trenches, corrective landscaping, and regrading your lawn entirely. Once you have solved your drainage issues, your lawn will look healthier year after year.
2. Make sure your lawnmower is ready for the summer
Before trying to cut your grass for the first time, make sure your lawnmower has been properly maintained over the course of the winter. At the very least, it is important that you sharpen your mower blade. This will result in clean cuts of grass—rather than grass that is torn and damaged—ensuring your lawn stays green and healthy throughout the summer. A full check-up can make sure your mower is operating at peak efficiency before embarking on a summer of work.
3. Mow on a low setting
Generally, the first mow of the year should be cut at a lower setting than later in the season. By cutting your grass closer to the ground on the first cut, you are leaving ample space for sun, water, and other nutrients to penetrate your lawn. As the season progresses, raise your blade once every few weeks to a maximum of 2½ to 3 inches. This will help combat dry periods that occur throughout the summer, ensuring you don’t cut your grass too short and cause it to die in the summer sun. As well, mowing your lawn too frequently can shock your grass and further contribute to brown grass in areas with high sun impact. You should never remove more than ⅓ of the length of grass to avoid shocking your lawn.
4. Practice proper watering
One of the most common mistakes people make when maintaining their lawns is that they do not follow proper watering techniques. If you water too frequently, your lawn will become muddy and the grass can even die from overwatering. However, if you do not water it enough, it can dry out and turn brown. The perfect balance (depending on your location and the amount of rainfall for the year) is to water your lawn approximately three times per week. For best results, water early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the heat of the sun. When you start watering, try leaving an empty can of tuna, cat food, or a small container in the path of the sprinkler. Once it fills up, your lawn is properly watered. After you establish a set time for your weekly waterings, you can even install a timer on your sprinkler to ensure it operates with consistency.
5. Aerate your lawn
As your soil becomes compacted—often due to foot traffic, snow, and ice—it prevents nutrients and water from reaching the roots of your grass. By aerating your lawn, you can ensure your seeds and roots get enough of the oxygen and nutrients they need to thrive. Aerating is a simple process that involves punching holes in the ground to allow for optimal airflow. While a specific lawn aerator is often the most efficient way to do this, you can also aerate your lawn with a simple pitchfork and other yard tools.
6. Overseed and fertilize your lawn
To make sure your lawn comes back lush and healthy each year, it never hurts to overseed. While this may sound like an unnecessary expense, overseeding helps ensure the grass in your lawn is consistent. Not only will this help prevent brown patches and dry areas, but it will also combat weeds. In this way, overseeding with premium grass seed can actually prevent weeds on your lawn. For an even healthier and more consistent lawn aesthetic, opt for fertilizer at the beginning of the spring and just before peak growing season in the summer.
At Peel Exterior Maintenance Inc., we offer comprehensive lawn care services in Southern Ontario. Our customized landscape maintenance programs will ensure your lawn gets exactly what it needs to stay healthy, green, and lush for years to come. From intricate landscaping to regular pruning, our technicians will help you identify your needs and create a solution tailored to your unique situation. The result is a gorgeous lawn that you will be proud to show off to customers, friends, and neighbours.
For more information about our landscaping and lawn care services, or to receive a quote for a custom project for your yard, call Peel Exterior Maintenance Inc. at 1-888-265-7214 or visit our website here.