Preparing your lawn for spring

February 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm Leave a comment

I am not a big fan of big luscious green lawns, but if you insist on having a weed free green garden all season long, these hint will help you achieve the look, while adding a little more biodiversity into your property.
There are two best times of the year to “top dress” or “over seed” your lawn, spring and autumn. Both these times of the year, nature provides cool and moist elements that make it a favourable time to enhance your lawns strength, look, and vigor.

Cut your lawn no lower than 2.5 inches on a regular basis, and ensure it is cut before over seeding your lawn.

Rake out your lawn to remove thatch, loose dead grass and debris. Grass cuttings are always beneficial for the lawn, as the nitrogen re absorbs into the ground and assists in the root growth process.

Different people have various views on what is the best type of soil to over seed with, and it really does come down to a “matter of opinion”. Some people swear by sheep manure, while others insist that cow manure is the best way to go. Many professionals suggest full grade triple mix which has a little bit of every thing in it. Regardless of what you use, a properly pasteurized weed free soil is what you want to put down.

Spread ½ inch thick across your lawn using a soft rake. The goal is to get reasonable coverage without smothering the grass. The look of the lawn should look like there is soil on it, but you should be able to see the grass sticking out from below.

The type of grass seed is also an “opinion” matter, but if you want to strengthen your existing grass to ward off weeds and harmful pests, a mixed culture of seed is what you want to use.

Most grass seed will tell you what the percentage of each type of grass is, so you want to be close to a ratio like this:

Fescue 60% Perennial Rye 30%  Kentucky Blue Grass 10%

It may be difficult to find these exact ratios, but do not use a bag that carries more the 20% Kentucky Blue Grass. This is the grass that comes in the sod rolls that are laid on new homes, and easily purchased at any garden centre. It is the grass of convenience, as it has the shallowest roots, and it is easiest to process. Fescues and Ryes have much deeper roots and are native to our ground (notice the name Kentucky? That’s where it comes from). You want more of these grasses, as once they establish roots; they work for the nutrients and grow much larger roots, which in turn leaves little room for the weeds to take.

Spread the seed by hand or with a spreader through out the whole lawn.  It should be visible on the soil, but not clumpy. You can press it in by walking on it with cardboard, or using a rented lawn roller, although this is not essential to germination. Ensure that the lawn is kept moist for two weeks.

Keep in mind that the birds, squirrel and other domestic “wild” animals may come by for a tasty grass seed meal, so you may want to top it up a bit during this time, keep an eye on it to be sure.

Over seeding once in the spring and once in the fall every year is a sure way to strengthen your lawn, and minimize the need for weed control over a long period of time.

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Entry filed under: How To, Lawns/Grass, Spring. Tags: , , , , .

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