The 4 rules for a healthier, greener lawn

A beautiful lawn is usually to get as long as you follow some basic rules of care. These are the laws for better lawns:

The 4 rules for a healthier, greener lawn

1. Set mower blades to high

  • Cool-season grasses should be mowed 6 to 7.5 centimetres (2.5 to 3 inches) high.
  • Warm-season lawns need to be cut shorter, around 3.5 to 6 centimetres (1.5 to 2 inches).
  • Longer grass shades weed seeds and prevents them from germinating. It also keeps the soil cool and moist, reducing the need for watering.

2. Water, don't drown

  • Always water grass 2.5 centimetres (one inch) deep or more. This develops deep, drought-resistant root systems.
  • Once your lawn has become dormant and brown in the late summer, don't water it. If you do, the lawn will come out of dormancy and put it under undue stress.
  • Choose the right turf for your climate. Your local garden centre can guide you to the right grass.
  • Turf grasses are nitrogen-hungry plants and need regular fertilization. Cool-season grasses do well with a spring and fall application, while warm-season grasses need fed in the spring and summer.
  • Check with a reliable nursery or your local lawn service for the best feeding times and methods for your region and grass type.

3. Fertilize right

  • Use a "complete" lawn fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
  • You'll want to apply about 450 grams (one pound) of nitrogen per 93 square metres (1,000 square feet) of lawn.
  • Pay attention to how much fertilizer is being used, so the entire lawn will receive the same amount.
  • Do not overfertilize. It's not good for the lawn and can contaminate the local water through fertilizer runoff.
  • On smaller lawns, you can apply fertilizer with a handcrank centrifugal feeder. Fertilize parallel sections, turning the crank at a smooth, consistent rate as you walk for an even feed.
  • For larger lawns, use a hopper spreader. Fill the hopper and push the spreader up and down the lawn in long parallel strips.
  • To spray liquid fertilizer, fill a hose-end unit with fertilizer and spray the lawn evenly.
  • Take care that every spot receives fertilizer. Even small sections that get missed will be visibly less lush as the lawn grows out.

4. Treat herbicides with care

  • Weed killers do their job, but many homeowners, especially those with children and pets, are increasingly reluctant to use them.
  • The least toxic herbicides are ones that have glyphosate as the main ingredient.
  • Consult your local lawn service or a reliable nursery for information about the type and timing right for your yard.
  • Diligent weeding of your lawn, coupled with water, fertilizer and proper mowing may eliminate the need for toxic herbicides.

The secret to a lush and green lawn is proper care and attention. Start with the right kind of grass, then keep it fed and watered the right amount. The result could be a good-looking lawn that you can be proud of.

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