In the days before chemicals and synthetic lawn sprays existed, people still managed to have beautiful lawns Natural methods of control do require more time and effort though, since you must check the condition of your lawn regularly to keep it healthy Good lawn practices will improve the growth characteristics of the grass and make it more resistant to disease. The Good Old Days….
Aerating the Lawn Aerate clay, sandy or loamy soil in spring or fall at least every other year for an improved lawn Aeration is the best way to combat compacted soil, such as under playground equipment or well-trod pathways through the lawn. It's also a good method to help revitalize a tired lawn and remove thatch Clay Soils – Core Sandy/Loamy – Solid Thatch limits root growth and increases chances of disease, and aeration is the most effective way to manage it. The result is a healthier grass root system.
Thatch… Thatch is not caused by grass clippings left on the lawn. It is a layer of partially decomposed roots, stems, leaves and other organic matter Keep the soil pH balanced because excess acidity slows the rate of decomposition of thatch
Fertilizer Facts The label on the fertilizer bag is required to show the percentage by weight of nitrogen, available phosphate (commonly referred to as phosphorus) and sulfate of potash (commonly referred to as potassium): The first number is nitrogen, which promotes overall grass shoot growth The second number is available phosphate (phosphorous), which promotes strong root growth The third number is soluble potash (potassium), which helps grass withstand stress, for example, drought or disease
As a rule, a well-tended lawn with good soil needs 1 to 2 kg of nitrogen per 100 m 2 every year. Grass clippings left on the lawn return about 1 kg of nitrogen per 100 m 2 Fertilizer Facts
Watering & Water Quality Keep your grass cut to a length of 2 ½ “ It will not need to be watered until the end of May A lawn that is cut too short must be watered more often to compensate for the loss of leaf surface, and the extra moisture may encourage weeds Water it in the morning and let it dry out during the day…
Mowers There are two types of mowers: reel and rotary. A reel mower gives a neater cut, but a rotary mower is better for tall or uneven grass. Reel mowers are generally used for small lawns with fine grass. Always keep your mower’s blades sharp to avoid ripping the grass instead of cutting it. Keep the underside of the mower clean. To avoid injuring the grass, do not add gas or oil with the mower on the lawn
Mowing your Lawn Cutting the grass too short 1 – ½ “ makes it susceptible to disease, insects and drought, so it will need more upkeep If the grass is very long, cut it in two stages, no more than 2” the first time, then wait a few days before mowing again in order to avoid weakening the grass It is best to mow when the lawn is dry In shady areas, the grass should be left longer 2 ½” - 3” to make up for the lack of sunlight
SpringSummerFall The first cut must be short: 3.5 cm. Gradually increase the cutting height to 7.5 cm. If the grass is weak, keep it longer: 7 to 10 cm. Mow to a height of 7.5 cm all summer. Cut the grass less often during hot weather. During hot spells, do not cut the grass any shorter than 7.5 cm. Deep mowing the grass until the weather turns cooler and growth slows down. Then, reduce the cutting height gradually to 3.5 cm (from 7.4 cm) until the grass stops growing. Grass grows more quickly and may be mowed more frequently.
Each time you mow, alternate the direction in which you cut so as to reduce the build-up of grass clippings and create “ lazy “ grass on your lawn Mowing your Lawn
Laying Sod Sodding is a much more expensive method of starting a lawn, but it gives you a lawn in two to three weeks. Sod can be laid any time; it smothers weeds and can be laid on sloped areas without any danger of erosion Prepare the soil the same way as for seeding. A fertilized, moist soil bed accelerates deep rooting. It is best to roll the sod in order to press the roots into contact with the soil. Water the sod thoroughly once it is laid and do not walk on it while it is wet. Do not cut the grass until it is 2 to 3 in high.
WEEDS… Weeds are an unwelcome part of every gardeners life They drink up water and nutrients that could be going to your precious plants, but most of all, they just look terrible Prevention Is the Key!