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Fall is more fabulous at Home – Lawn tips from Home Hardware

HomeFabulousFallFall is the best time of year to care for your lawn

After a long summer of mowing, watering and fertilizing your lawn, you may ask yourself if it’s worth the effort. Once you realize that lawns are more than an outdoor carpet between gardens and walkways, but a productive and beautiful part of your landscape, you’ll better understand the many benefits we derive from them:

  • A well tended lawn improves curb appeal and can increase the value of a property by 15 to 20 percent.
  • Turf serves as a natural air conditioner. On a hot day, compare the difference between standing on pavement and standing on turf. I rest my case.
  • Turf traps dust, smoke particles and air born toxins from the air, acting as a filter for the air we breathe.
  • Grass plants capture and use greenhouse gases, thereby counteracting climate change. Turf also traps air pollution and generates much of the oxygen we breathe. A 50′ x 50′ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe for one year.
  • Grass offers a very efficient and inexpensive control function. Turf intercepts raindrops and filters them through the soil. Turf promotes water “percolation” rather than runoff. Without turf’s water-retention capabilities, urban streams and drainage infrastructure would be overwhelmed.

Source: Canadian Landscape Trades Magazine

Fall Is The Best Time Of Year To Care For Your Lawn

The best time to apply lawn fertilizer is when grass roots are building up natural sugars to store over the long cold Canadian winter. A winterizing fertilizer should contain a moderate level of nitrogen to avoid a surge in growth. High potassium content (the last number in the 3 number analysis) builds a strong root system to help the grass plants survive our winter.

The best time to start a new lawn from seed or to lay sod is in the fall. It’s also the best time to over-seed established lawns to fill in bare patches and thicken your grass. In most parts of Canada the best “grass seed sowing” occurs from mid August through to late September when evening temperatures are lower and the morning dew is heavier. Fall daytime temperatures are also optimum for seed germination.

How To Seed A Lawn:

Preparation is the key to success. Rake the area lightly to remove debris. Add a 1 to 2 cm layer of triple mix to level out low patches in the lawn. Choose the best quality seed for the best result. Rake the seed to smoothly integrate it into the layer of triple mix. Step on the area with a flat-soled shoe to get the seed and soil in firm contact or, for large areas, roll with a lawn roller that is one third full of water. Fertilize with C-I-L® Lawn Starter to encourage rapid root growth. This will help new grass get established more quickly. Water the seeded areas and keep the soil damp until the grass is at least 3 cm high.

A Thick Healthy Lawn Is Your Best Defense Against Weeds

I am frequently asked how to control lawn weeds in the absence of chemical weed killers. The answer is simple – over seed your lawn to thicken it and crowd weeds out of existence. Also be sure to raise your lawn mower up to 21/2 or 3 inches (7 to 9 cm.).

Destroying Grubs the Natural Way:

Often grubs become active near the surface of the soil in late summer and early fall. Grubs feed on grass roots and the lawn will die as a result. Patches of dead grass will lift up easily if pulled by hand. Skunks, raccoons and moles will also dig in the lawn to feed on grubs. The fall is the best time to control grub populations. Larvae hatch in the fall and can be killed quickly due to their small size. I recommend using beneficial nematodes to control the grub population. These are microscopic larvae that infest the grey and white grubs in the soil. Be sure to water thoroughly after application. Applying beneficial nematodes in the fall is a proactive approach to controlling lawn damage next spring. Visit www.naturalinsectcontrol. com for more information.

A healthy lawn will often hide the symptoms of grub damage. A thick lawn which is watered (once a week at most) and fed properly will grow new roots quickly. This helps to mask grub damage and to keep brown patches to a minimum.

For more information, visit your local Home Hardware and talk to the lawn care professionals on staff.

Filed Under: home improvementShop Local

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