How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn in Seven Simple Steps

How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn in Seven Simple Steps

healthy lawn in seven simple stepsStep 1: De-thatching and Core Aeration
-use a de-thatching machine or contact Harmony Gardens Landscaping to de-thatch your lawns.
-ensure to rake up the removed thatch from de-thatching and dispose of
-thatch can harbor insects and disease
-thatch prevents water and nutrients from reaching grass roots
-healthy lawns have 1cm or less of thatch – more is not healthy
-core aerate lawns after de-thatching in the spring and the fall and before top dressing, fertilizing and over-seeding
-core aerators should have the weights on to ensure a good core or plug is removed. A lot of companies remove the weights for easier work and to do many lawns in a day. Harmony Gardens Landscaping always has all the weights intact to ensure proper core aeration of lawns.
-core aeration alleviates compaction and allows water to penetrate deeper thus producing deeper grass roots
-core aeration creates space in soil for penetration of air, water and nutrients.
-core aeration stimulates microbial activity and thus improves soil structure

Step 2: Improving Soil Quality:
-More soil = deeper roots
-Soil samples should be taken for analysis. The results will include levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and soil pH. pH levels are the measurement of acid and alkaline levels in soil. Optimum pH of soil is between 6.0 and 7.0. Harmony Gardens Landscaping will do your soil testing and provide a written report back to you.
-feed lawn based on soil test results.
-grass grows best in a moist, fertile soil that is not waterlogged
-sandy soil and heavy clay both need humus (top dressing)to improve the texture.
-a dense root system is vital to support top growth in grass
-a minimum of 10cm. (4inches) of good healthy soil is needed
-add organic matter to your lawn and build soil flora thru top dressing
-top dress your lawn with composted pellets every spring and fall to build soil tilth and improve soil structure
-top dress your lawn every three to five years with screened composted top dressing soil which consists of loam, peat moss and compost to improve soil conditions.
-top dressing helps phosphorous in soil to be usable
-top dressing helps to reduce thatch, disease and restores balance to lawn
-top dressing with core aeration helps to change soil structure
-Contact Harmony Gardens Landscaping for top dressing of your lawns

Step 3: Over-Seeding:
-Over-seeding is ideal time to introduce drought-resistant grass mixes.
-over-seeding is essential every spring and fall
-red fescues tolerate shade and drought conditions, grow well in sun
-perennial rye grasses are drought tolerant, prefer sun but tolerate shade
-perennial rye grasses contain endophytic fungus which helps the roots take up water and nutrients. Chinch bugs, bluegrass billbugs and sod webworms do not like the taste so discourages them.
-Harmony Gardens Landscaping can over-seed your lawns every spring and fall with or without top dressing.

Step 4: Mowing:
-lawn mower cutting height should be 6 to 8 cms. (approx. 3inches)
-longer grass blades help shade each other cutting down on evaporation as well as inhibiting weed growth.
-keep mower blades sharp
-mow weekly and cut no more than 1/3 of grass blade length off at a time
-mulch mow (grass-cycling) to leave clippings on the lawn to provide a natural source of nitrogen weekly
-Contact Harmony Gardens Landscaping for a seasonal lawn maintenance contract to have weekly mulch mowing of lawns, weekly trimming with trimmers around edges of flowerbeds, walkways and so on and cleanup of clippings off of walkways and hard surfaces only.

Step 5: Fertilizing:
-important to grass health; provides nutrients to grass and soil
-fertilization should be done every spring, summer and fall with specific seasonal formulations to address specific needs to each season.
-fertilization should be based on soil test results
-apply with fertilizer spreaders only set at correct rate
-natural, slow release formulations best
-late fall fertilization is most imperative to feed the roots
-spring fertilization should be done in early May onwards
-organic fertilizers provide micro-nutrients and organic matter
-organic and natural fertilizers provide nitrogen in a water-insoluble format which means that the soil micro-organisms must breakdown the nitrogen thus stimulates soil microbial activity for soil health
-do not use corn gluten within 4 to 6 weeks of over-seeding as will prevent seed germination
-For appropriate, specific fertilization of your lawns contact Harmony Gardens Landscaping.

Step 6: Spot Check for Weeds and Insects:
-apply a pre-emergent treatment such as Turf-Maize.
-Harmony Gardens Landscaping will apply Turf-Maize an organic granular herbicide weed inhibitor to your lawn every June, July-August and September to inhibit the germination of weed seeds on your lawn when weed seeds are most prevalent. Turf-Maize is corn gluten and cannot be applied within 4 to 6 weeks of over-seeding.
-spot treatments of weeds can be treated with Fiesta, Horticultural Vinegar, thermal weeding, and hand weeding
-maintain a healthy lawn to resist weeds and prevent weed infestations
-mow lawn to cut off or pull off dandelion heads prior to going to seed
-over-seed with perennial rye grass in mixture to discourage and minimize cinch bugs, bluegrass billbugs, and sod webworms.
-Harmony Gardens Landscaping can apply specific organic pesticide treatments to control grubs, cinch bugs and ants as required.
-nematode applications for the prevention and control of grubs, we recommend to be applied in June, July-August, and September. Nematodes are living organisms and as such require water to remain viable. Nematodes can only be applied after danger of all frost and before frost in the early fall.

Step 7: Irrigating – Watering:
-water lawns in the early morning before 10AM to prevent evaporation.
-water deeply once a week to encourage deep roots
-lawns need 1” (25mms.) of rain, water, irrigation weekly
-over-watering causes thatch buildup, shallow roots and disease
-install rain sensors on irrigation system
-adjust irrigation timers to meet seasonal changes
-set sprinklers to water only lawns and gardens and not hard surfaces
-removal of thatch and core aeration encourages movement of water to grass root zones.
-let healthy lawns go dormant during extended dry, hot periods in the summer; lawns can survive 4 to 6 weeks without water
-water only during extreme droughts or if your lawn is under stress or you are renovating/revitalizing your lawns

get a landscaping quote