How To Have A Green Lawn All Summer In Canada
A green lawn takes place over all four seasons. In this article we will be looking at the best ways for you to keep a green lawn this summer. Some of these you may be familiar with. Others I can promise you are unique. This blog post will give you a soil scientist view of exactly what it takes to have a green lawn all summer long in a Canadian garden climate.
Winter Time Grass Care
Seems odd to have winter and grass in the same sentence as a Canadian, but it’s because they are related. Winter kill is caused by lack of snow insulation. Grass roots are fibrous and many lawn varieties do not have a deep root system. This means piling up snow will help insulate and protect the grass from the cold. You will also want to ensure there are no traffic areas over the lawn during the winter.
If you have children or dogs that tend to trample a certain area consider piling up snow in that region of the yard after a snowfall. Winter kill is a fact of life so reseeding the area every spring may prove to be the viable solution.
When the soil begins to warm up you will end up with mushy ground. This is the time of year where you want to let your lawn rest. Due to the shallow root system of a lawn we don’t want to cause unnecessary damage. In the spring or after a heavy rain fall we want to avoid the lawn at all costs.
This also applies to the fall period where snow is causing a mushy soil. Make sure all your leaves are cleaned up before the snow flies. If you forget simply leave the debri in place till spring.
Once the topsoil has dried it is time to remove debri. This is going to allow the grass to grow without competing for light. Old grass and leaves can cause a few issues for this year’s green lawn. The first and most obvious being mold & mildew.
Organic material laying on a lawn will be decomposed by the lawn microbes. This is a very normal process that is a sign of a healthy lawn ecosystem. The issue is that decaying debri isn’t the most beautiful display Mother Nature is capable of. The decomposition process can take months in a Canadian garden climate so removal is our best option.
To remove organic material from the lawn you will want to find a very fine rake. The smaller and closer the fingers the better. Then all you do is simply rake the surface of the soil and remove the debri for compost.
When Should You Reseed?
It’s common practice to reseed your lawn where there is a bald spot. But did you know there is a benefit to broadcasting seeds all over the lawn as a whole?
During the summer it is common practice to cut your lawn. However, when we cut the lawn we cut the grasses life cycle short. Our lawn grass rarely is able to get to a stage when it can reseed. With our reseeding stage we end up with old and tired looking lawns.
To help counteract this we want to reseed the area ourselves using grass seed. All you need to do is simply broadcast a thin layer or seeds onto the lawn area. There is no need to cover it with soil. Simply water the lawn & seed as you normally would.
Pest Issues Found In Lawns
Many lawn killers are invisible to our naked eye. The exception to this would be ants that eat the lawns roots. Harmful nematodes are a common pest that can result in lame looking lawns. These critters are too small to see with the naked eye and don’t show up in the lawn with any specific appearance.
The good news is both ants & nematodes can be treated easily every year. The best way to do this is via a biological control method. This means it is natural & safe for both the lawn and children/pets.
The method involves more nematodes. But this time we will use predatory nematodes that eat the ants & bad nematodes. The application for these products is very simple. All you do is spread it over the lawn and water. Check out this post for more info of nematodes.
Fertilizer For Lawns
In a lawn ecosystem we are removing debri which means our soil has very little organic material. This lack of organic material will result in poor soil structure and an inability to retain moisture. The solution is to simply add degraded organic material to the soil surface.
You can choose from using a manure, compost, alfalfa meal or a simple peat moss. All you do is simply broadcast it over the lawn similar to a fertilizer. Then you can water it into the lawn for around 30 mins. You can’t over apply with this method so don’t stress. This can also be used in conjunction with conventional fertilizer.
Watering Your Lawn
Grass lawns are naturally able to withstand drought. Native grasslands are known to have less then ideal amounts of moisture. This means when we water our lawns daily we are doing them a disservice.
Lack of daily water helps force the grass roots deep into the soil profile in search of moisture. A better established root system means a lawn that is able to survive a drought. The best way to ensure this is through watering once a week.
Keep in mind when you do water you want to deep water. To ensure deep water you will want to turn the taps on for at least 30 mins.
There you have it! The official guide to a success lawn this summer. Let me know in the comments below what tips you have for a green lawn.