Expert advice for a beautiful lawn

June 19, 2015

The grass may look greener on the other side, but no longer do you have to be green with envy — a better lawn can be yours if you follow these easy tips.

Expert advice for a beautiful lawn

Plant trees as if they were full grown

  • Before you buy a tree, look at the shade pattern it'll have when it's grown.
  • You're going to start with this cute little tree, and it's going to look good when you plant it near the house, but once it grows up, it's going to be a problem with the roof and gutters.

Save $$ on mulch

  • If you're mulching a big area, use a cheaper hardwood mulch for most of it, then top-dress it with cedar or cypress.
  • You can also top-dress old, ratty-looking mulch — just sprinkle on a fresh 2.5 centimetre (one inch) layer and it'll look brand new. That way you're not paying for something you don't see.

Mulch plants more—fertilize less

  • Over-fertilizing with chemical fertilizers can cause excess leaf and stem growth and even burn your plants. Never apply more than the recommended amount.
  • Instead of just relying on fertilizers to make your plants look good, concentrate on proper soil preparation to give your plants a healthy growing foundation.
  • Work in several inches of compost in the top 20 to 25 centimetres (eight to 10 inches) of soil. This amazing material improves drainage in clay soils and increases water-holding capacity in sandy soils."

Solve landscape problems with ground covers

  • Ground covers are an easy way to soften rock features and patios or control erosion on slopes. If the soil's good, kill the existing vegetation and leave it in place on the slope to stabilize the bank and serve as mulch.
  • Then plant through the layer of dead material.
  • Add another layer of shredded bark or other mulch after planting to conserve moisture and reduce weed problems while your ground cover becomes established.

Protect trees with mulch

Protect exposed tree roots at the surface of the yard. Wounds from lawn mowers create an entryway for insects and disease to move in. However, you shouldn't just bury exposed roots in soil. Mulch around the root area instead. A five to 10 centimetre (two to four inch) layer of wood chips or shredded bark protects the roots and creates a good growing environment.

Note: Planting grass right up to a tree trunk is a common practice, but it's not good for the tree because grass and trees compete for water and nutrients. The tree will be healthier and grow faster if you put a 15 centimetre (six inch) border of mulch around it instead of grass.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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