Ask An Expert

Q: Do I need to fertilize my lawn? If, so when should this be done?

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A: Healthy soil provides nourishment to grow healthy grass. The soil itself needs to replenish its nutrients so it can continue to keep your lawn healthy. Keeping your soil healthy with the addition of the necessary nutritional elements is called fertilization. All fertilizers provide three main nutrients for the grass, which are listed by percentage weight on fertilizer packages. These are: nitrogen (N) which is necessary for stem and leaf growth; phosphorous (P) which promotes root, fruit and flower growth; and potassium (K) which assists other nutrients to function well within the plant. The ratio

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Q: What is over-seeding? Why is it important to lawn care? When and with what?

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Jeannette Cross answers your questions about over-seeding, why it’s important, and when and how to go about properly over-seeding your lawn in her Ask an Expert series. A: Over-seeding is applying a suitable blend of grass seeds to an existing lawn to replenish grass cover to create thick grass that will crowd out weeds. In the spring one should check for dying grass and repair it with over-seeding and top dressing. Weed seeds are very opportunistic and will establish themselves wherever bare soil exists. Top dressing is the addition of organic material such as compost

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Q: How can I create healthy, good quality soil for my flowerbeds?

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A: Healthy soil provides the water, air and nutrients needed to grow healthy plants. All soils can be improved with the addition of certain materials, a process that is often referred to as “amending” the soil. A soil amendment is different than a fertilizer as it changes the structure of the soil and possibly its pH, but may or may not add to its nutrient content. Fertilizers add to nutrient content. Soil structure is an important part of healthy soil as it influences water flow, nutrient uptake and air flow all of which are necessary

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Q: What is key in planning for a natural lawn and garden?

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Answer: Natural gardening starts at the planning stage. Everything from selecting the most appropriate plants for the location to the physical layout of the garden is important to growing healthy plants and grass. Before planting grass, plants and trees consider the following: Soil is the foundation. You need healthy, fertile soil to grow healthy grass, plants and trees. The main challenge for the urban gardener is that the soil under urban lawns often has low organic content.

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