There's Plenty to Love About Having a Healthy Lawn
1. How to Properly Mow Your Lawn
- Mow Your Lawn Tall (6 cm): Longer grass blades are more drought tolerant, encourage deeper roots, and grow thicker to crowd out weeds. Shorter cut lawns need more work to stay healthy, weed-free, and attractive.
- Don't Cut More Than a Third: Cutting off only one-third of the grass blade length reduces stress and helps to conserve moisture in the plant.
- Keep Your Mower's Blade Sharp: A dull blade frays grass blade ends, which allow moisture to escape and causes tips to turn brown.
Tip: Leave the clippings on the lawn to conserve moisture and add organic matter back into the soil. And don’t forget to use a string trimmer or lawn edger for a crisp, clean finish.
2. Lawn Fertilizer 101
Feeding, or fertilizing, your lawn enriches the soil, creating a good environment for beneficial microorganisms, insects, and worms. When it’s well-fed, it has a deeper root system so it’s better able to prepare for droughts. Your lawn also becomes more resilient to withstand weeds, pests, and winter stresses.
Start by estimating your lawn size. Multiply your property's length by its width and subtract the area of your house and any hard surfaces like driveways, patios, or decks. Average Canadian lawns are about 250 m2, approximately the size of a tennis court. Using a lawn spreader, apply fertilizer where desired.
Tip: Frequent fertilizing in the fall as well as early feedings in the spring will also help to keep your grass greener than ever.
To find the best Lawn Spreader check out our Lawn Spreader Buying Guide.
3. The Best Way to Water Your Lawn
Water only once or twice a week, but do it deeply to reach the roots. Frequent watering only wets the lawn's surface and forces the roots to remain shallow. Deeper root systems help lawns survive stressful periods of heat and drought.
You also don’t have to stand around with a water hose. Consider installing drip irrigation to save water and time.
Tip: Early in the morning and in the evening are the ideal times to water for most lawns. There’s less wind, less hot sun, and your lawn has a full day to dry.
4. Remove Weeds Regularly
What do dandelions, crab grass and Canada thistle have in common? They can take over your lawn if you’re not being proactive!
Some weeds are easy to remove by hand using a trowel, while others that are more stubborn may require raking to loosen the roots before mowing. You can also use weed control products to help remove stubborn weeds.
It’s best to treat weeds early in their life cycle. For example, crabgrass should be treating with a weed control product in the early spring, and dandelions in the fall.
Tip: The best time to apply weed control products is when there is a heavy morning dew. The moisture helps the product stick to weed leaves.
5. Take Care of Any Pest Problems
The healthier a lawn is, the less likely you are to find pests like lawn grubs or chinch bugs. These pests tend to show up when lawns are hot and dry with short grass – yet another reason to keep your yard as lush as possible!
Examine your lawn regularly for signs of pests. Not all damage to your lawn is caused by pests; there may be environmental factors like road salt or dog urine that are to blame. If a pest problem is identified, you should use a pesticide to clear up the issue and consider changing your lawn care routine to prevent future problems.
To find the best pesticide, check out our Pesticide Buying Guide.
Tip: Not all insects are pests! Insects that are beneficial to your lawn’s health include ladybugs, bees, butterflies, moths and earthworms.
6. How to Rejuvenate Your Lawn
After you’ve found the right seed, you have the option of aerating. Aerators penetrate the ground to allow air and water into the soil creating a better root environment for germinating seeds.
Next, use a rake to expose the soil and improve seed contact with the soil. It also helps to prep the area to remove dead grass and loosen hard soil.
At this point, you can also choose to enrich the soil (although it’s not required) before adding a thin layer of grass seeds. Organic matter such as lawn soil added on top of the ground creates a more nutrient-rich environment for growth.
After seeding, feed your lawn with fertilizer. Finish by watering until your soil is dark brown. When your mixture turns light brown, add more water.
Tip: The best time to overseed is in the spring and fall.
7. Improve Your Lawn's Water Drainage
If your lawn has ever been waterlogged for hours or even days after a heavy storm, you may need to fix your lawn’s water drainage. Poor drainage is usually either caused by the soil or the layout of your lawn or garden.
A lawn with thick areas of thatch or compacted soil can prevent water from being absorbed. In this case, it is best to aerate the lawn to improve the flow of water.
The layout of your lawn and garden should naturally slope away from your house, however any dips can allow water to pool and cause damage to your grass and roots. In this case, you should consider adding gutters and drains to divert rainfall away from your lawn to prevent water-logging.
The first step to a healthy and beautiful yard is having the right lawn mower, whether it’s a riding lawn mower, electric mower, or something in between.
To spread grass seed or fertilizer efficiently onto your lawn, use a spreader. Our buying guide will help in selecting the right one.