Ten Steps To A Healthy Lawn

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A simple, “preventative maintenance” lawn care plan will keep your lawn in top shape all year ’round

(NC)-Just follow these 10 easy steps to keep your lawn at its best:

1. Start with a good soil preparation. If you’re starting a new lawn, you’ll never regret the investment you make now in improving the soil. Grass grows best in a well-drained blend of topsoil, sand and organic matter several inches deep. Remove any hard packed snow patches and rake out old thatch to allow the grass to “breathe”. Top up with a specially formulated soil for lawns such as Hillview Top Dresser or Green Earth Premium Compost.

2. Seed if necessary. As with fertilizer, buying quality grass seed pays off in a thicker lawn. Use a good quality mixture such as C-I-L® Golfgreen™ to patch bare spots, or spread overall late in fall or early spring. Rake lightly to ensure the seed contacts the soil, apply a starter fertilizer and water as necessary to keep the lawn from drying out.

3. Control crabgrass. (Mainly in Ontario) If crabgrass was a problem last year, apply a Crabgrass Preventer in early spring to control crabgrass as it starts to germinate.

4. Control broadleaf weeds. Weeds like dandelion, plantain, chickweed and others compete with grass for soil nutrients… and they usually win. If your lawn has a few weeds, spot-treat them with Lawn WeedOut. But if your lawn is over-run with weeds, then a “Weed & Feed” fertilizer is your best bet.

5. Water…but only if needed. Don’t be afraid to let the top surface of the soil dry out…this will encourage deep-rooted, stress-tolerant grass.

6. Control insects. White grubs, chinch bugs, leather-jackets, ants, wireworms and many common insects could destroy your lawn if conditions favour them. Try this: Cut off both ends of a coffee tin, sink half way into the lawn, and fill with water. If several chinch bugs make their way to the surface, apply a lawn insect control product such as C-I-L® GrubOut.

7. Use the correct mower height. In dry summer weather, let the lawn grow out a bit, and then cut with the lawn mower set up higher. In the fall, cut shorter again to avoid giving turf diseases a place to develop in the foliage.

8. If you don’t need to control weeds or insects, don’t. Application of a regular lawn fertilizer like Golden Vigoro 24-4-8 every 10 to 12 weeks may be all you need to keep your lawn healthy.

9. Rake leaves so the grass can breathe. Chopped up, they make a great mulch for gardens.

10. Don’t forget to feed in the fall. It’s one of the most important feedings. For strengthening turf over the winter, use a fertilizer with less nitrogen than a spring fertilizer, but higher potash levels. The nitrogen stays put under the snow cover, ready for a quick start in the spring.