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Lawn Care Tips

Postcard Perfect Turfgrass Lawn Care Tips

The snow has finally melted and you’ve decided that this is the year that your lawn is going to be the envy of your neighbours, but where do you start? Ottawa’s climate, with our cold winters and hot summers, can make it difficult to maintain a nice lawn year after year, but a little extra care can go a long way. Before you even start to think about cutting and watering, there are a few tasks to consider.

  • Once your lawn is dry enough to walk on, the first thing that you should do is remove any salt, sand, and grit from your lawn. This can be done using a blower or power broom and is crucial because of the harm that salt does to your soil. This is also a good time to clear any winter debris from your driveway and walkway in order to avoid tracking it into your house. Other items that you’ll want to remove from your lawn include leaves, tree branches, garbage and dog waste.
  • The next task to consider is dethatching. Thatch is a layer between the blades of grass and the soil which can build up over time. If your thatch gets too thick (>2.5 cm), it can prevent water, oxygen, and fertilizer from reaching the soil. It can also provide a suitable habitat for pests such as chinch bugs. If you’ve determined that you need to remove some thatch, this can be done manually or mechanically and will require you to rake up the debris.
  • After you’ve dealt with the winter debris and assessed your thatch, you should start thinking about fertilizing. Timing can change slightly from year to year depending on when the snow melts and the temperatures start to rise, but we usually wait until at least the beginning of May. By this time, your grass is almost ready to start growing and will have the proper nutrients available when it does.
  • The final spring tasks that you should think about are aerating and overseeding. Aeration helps relieve compacted soil which allows water, air and nutrients to move more freely. Overseeding should be done immediately following aeration and is one of the most important steps to maintaining a dense lawn year after year. Before buying seed, make sure to read the bag and understand which varieties are included. Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescues and Rye are all commonly used in our area, but make sure to avoid any bags that include annual grasses. They germinate quickly and might look alright, but they will leave you with bare spots next spring.

If all of this seems too overwhelming, feel free to give us a call for a no obligation, customized lawn care quote.


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