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Cultural Practices

Improving and maintaining your lawn is a process that takes time. There are several horticultural practices that you can do to improve the appearance of your lawn.

Watering

Watering your lawn will help produce a strong and healthy root system that is capable of choking out weeds naturally. You should be watering your lawn to a depth of 2 inches per week in the spring and fall when precipitation is frequent, and to a depth of 4 inches in the summer when it is not. Frequent and shallow watering leads to a shallow root system that will be vulnerable to insect damage and drought stress. Watering to these prescribed depths will allow for a deep root system that can withstand these threats. As a general rule, lawns require watering for one hour twice per week, throughout the spring and fall seasons. During the summer watering should be increased by an additional hour. Pay extra attention to turf outlining the pavement and curbs, as well as areas that receive full sunlight. These areas are prone to drying out much faster.

It is also very important to water during the morning hours and never at night. Watering at night can lead to turf diseases that are very difficult to control. The ideal time to water your lawn is between 7:00 am and 10:00 am. Check to see if watering restrictions are in effect within your municipality.

Mowing

Most people make the mistake of cutting the lawn too short. Always maintain a cutting height of 2.5 – 3 inches. To achieve this height simply place a ruler in your lawn and adjust the cutting deck on your lawn mower as required. Longer grass means a stronger root system that is more capable of resisting weeds, insects and drought stress. Shorter grass develops a weak root system and the grass is damaged easily. Also be sure to sharpen your mower blade twice a year to avoid ripping and tearing the grass as this may lead to turf diseases that are difficult to control.

Make sure that you always follow the 1/3 rule. Never cut off more then one third of the grass blade at any given time. This will stress the lawn. As well, with regular and frequent cutting, there is no need to bag the grass clippings. These clipping will release valuable nutrients and moisture back into the soil as they decompose.

Looking for a change? Adjust the pattern in which you cut (vertical, horizontal and diagonal). This will allow the grass to grow more evenly, as well as create a different design in your lawn every week.

Raking

No one likes to rake the lawn but it is essential in the spring to ensure the lawn recovers quickly from the stresses of the winter months. A stiff raking will remove the debris left over from the previous fall as well as the unsightly dead and matted grass. This raking will also reduce thatch, the decomposing organic material that sits on the top layer of the soil. As a result air, moisture and essential nutrients will be able to easily penetrate the soil and reach the roots of the grass where they are needed.

Every fall we are faced with a barrage of leaves that fall from our trees and shrubs. While the changing colours are a nice sight, the cleanup is often very time consuming. It is however very important to get these leaves picked up. Decaying leaves are not only unsightly but they are a major contributor to thatch, decomposing organic material that sits on the top layer of the soil, preventing air, moisture and nutrients from getting to the roots of the grass. As well they mat down the grass resulting in turf injury. A good stiff raking will not only remove your leaves but also help to reduce other contributors of thatch such as grass clippings resulting in a healthier lawn.

For more tips on proper cultural practices during the fall please call our customer service at 1-877-374-7336. We have extended our hours Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 7:00pm (EST) for your convenience.


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