Expert Advice – Achieving A Lush Green Lawn
Looking for a green lawn this year? Have you considered what your soil base is and how best to prepare it?
In Nova Scotia, we are well known for our Acidic soil. Acidic soil will be far less able to grow crops in farming, but also affects the quality of your grass. Adding landlime to your soil is essential to correct these high levels of acid as it ‘sweetens’ the soil.
The easiest lime to apply is a pelletized limestone. Using a standard or handheld broadcast spreader, pelletized lime applies very easily. Each 15kg bag of limestone will cover up to 1000 sq.ft of lawn. It is recommended to apply lime in Spring and again in early Fall. Don’t wait until the lawn is too dry, but it’s also best to not apply on a soggy wet lawn.
Limestone is the first thing you should do, even before other seeding or fertilizer, which we’ll talk about next.
There is no shortage of choice when it comes to lawn fertilizer. You have many top brands that have different technologies that can promote a healthier lawn. You can also get less expensive fertilizers with a more basic formula designed for people with very large properties.
The basic makeup of all fertilizers is the same – Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. These are the 3 #’s on the bag. The first #, Nitrogen, is the ingredient that makes the grass green up, so if you need greener grass be sure to choose a fertilizer with a big first number. Some fertilizers offer a slow-release nitrogen which extends the greening benefits longer.
Another new trend of today’s fertilizers is to include iron, which further improves the greening performance of the fertilizer.
Even with lime and fertilizer, it’s beneficial to overseed or re-seed your lawn. Overseeding helps your lawn to thicken, which is a natural prevention for weeds. There are many options for grass seed with different features and technology, but it’s important to consider the application when choosing your seed. Some seeds are designed for full sun areas, some for shady, and some for complete shade. Some seeds are designed more rugged for high traffic areas.
To overseed your lawn first, rake out all of the dead and compacted grass. For hard or compacted soil, you may want to rake in some quality lawn soil to help. Add the seed, rake it in and be sure to keep the new soil damp. Try to resist mowing newly growing grass until it reaches 2-3 inches in height.
Finally, weed prevention is always an important part of a good lawn care routine. You can choose to get off to a good start with a Corn Gluten weed prevent fertilizer which, when applied before dandelions germinate, will help prevent their growth. We will follow up in a future post about weed prevention strategies throughout the summer, but always remember that a healthy lawn is the best defence against the weeds.
Stop into any of our stores today to chat with our lawn & garden experts. We’re happy to help you improve your lawn this year. And remember, it won’t change in one season, but if you’re consistent and keep doing the right things you can gradually improve your lawn each year and end up with something you can be proud of.