Get Your Lawn in Shape for Spring
Spring has arrived and as the weather warms up, you will begin to notice that the warm, inviting qualities your lawn once possessed are but a memory. No need to worry, the pursuit of a perfect lawn doesn’t have to break your back or the bank. With a few simple steps and the right products you will have your lawn back to its previous glory.
Inspecting your lawn is imperative to formulate a plan of attack. Identify and take note of any bare patches, excessive weed growth or high/low spots and prepare accordingly. Bare patches can be easily remedied with a little top soil and some solid grass seed. However, excessive weed growth and high/low patches require a little more work. As of April 22, 2009, a province wide ban on pesticides and herbicides went into effect, preventing retailers from selling products containing synthetic chemicals such as 2,4-D. This can make eradicating pesky weeds harder, but not impossible. Low-risk bio-pesticides like Scotts PathClear Grass and Weed Control are still available for sale within the Province of Ontario. To level any high/low patches using a garden spade, cut an x in the centre of the mound, pull back the sod, and remove/add topsoil until it is level with the surrounding area.
As soon as your lawn is dry enough to walk on you will need to remove any debris and thatch what has accumulated since fall. You can use a standard garden rake, however, we recommend a sturdy thatch rake with curved metal tines which dig deep into the lawn to remove stubborn thatch and debris. Gently rake against the grain to remove any debris and force the grass to stand on end. This allows fresh air to circulate around the crows of the grass plant, eliminating snow mould and providing optimal conditions for grass seed to germinate.
Prepping your lawn for seeding with the right top soil can make a world of difference. Scotts Enriched LawnSoil with Starter Fertilizer is formulated to bring your lawn back to life after a long, harsh Canadian winter. The added fertilizer helps grass seedlings grow faster and quicker, leading to a thick, healthy lawn. If you are spot-seeding, mix 1 inch of Scotts Enriched LawnSoil with Starter Fertilizer with 1 inch of existing top soil to achieve the best results. If you have decided to over-seed, spread 1/8” - 1⁄4” of Scotts Enriched LawnSoil with Starter Fertilizer evenly across your lawn. Grass grows best in a moist, fertile soil. Remember, more soil equals deeper roots.
Choosing the right grass seed it key to achieving a vibrant and healthy lawn. Is my lawn exposed to sun? Is it in the shade? Should I use a sun+shade mix? Coated or uncoated seed? Are all questions you should ask yourself before deciding which seed to use. We recommend using Scotts® Turf Builder® Coated Grass Seed Bluegrass Sun Mix for open yards with high sun exposure or Scotts® Turf Builder® Coated Grass Seed Dense Shade Mix which grows with as little as 3 hours of daily sunshine. Scotts® Turf Builder® Coated Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix is ideal for lawn which receive a mix of sun and shade. The secret to Scotts grass seed is the super-absorbent coating which absorbs up to 2 times more water than uncoated seed. This helps increase water-use efficiency as well as increasing successful seed germination. Once you have decided on which seed is best for your lawn, use a rotary spreader and spread evenly across the effected areas.
Lawns wake up hungry in the spring. Feeding your lawn in the spring strengthens roots and gets it off to a good start before the heavy growing season. Spring time calls for a slow-release fertilizer with a potassium content of around 4, like Scotts Turf Builder Pro Lawn Fertilizer 400M, as opposed to fall which is best served by a fertilizer with a higher potassium content of around 10 like Scotts Turf Builder Pro WinterCare Pro Fall Fertilizer. A proper fertilizer is what is going to help you achieve the vibrant green colour and strong, healthy root systems that your lawn needs. Before spreading any fertilizer, ensure you have proper working conditions, ensure your soil is moist, and fertilize only before the forecast calls for a steady light rain. Don’t forget to use proper safety equipment as fertilizer contains elements that can be harmful to humans in large doses. The amount of fertilizer required depends on your conditions. Read and follow the label for ideal results.
After all that work, take a second or two to sit back, relax, and admire what will soon be a healthy, vibrant lawn that you will once again be proud to show off. With a little preparation, proper products, and some old fashion T.L.C, you have provided your lawn with everything it needs to thrive as spring gives way to summer.
Have any tips or questions that you would like to share… let us know in the comments below.