As a homeowner one of my top priorities is to ensure that my grass is as health and as green as it can be. Having a healthy lawn is a great way to improve your curb appeal and will make your house stand out from your neighbours.
Getting your lawn to a healthy, lush, and green state is no as complicated and a costly as one might think. In this article we will outline three simple tricks to get your lawn looking its best.
Step 1: Top Dressing
Top dressing a lawn is a MUST for any property that is in disrepair or for soil that is high in non-organic matter. An easy way to tell if top dressing will help you is 1) see if your lawn has lots of ruts and divots, and 2) if your soil base is crusty and very hard.
I like to do a light top dressing every year using a mixture of triple mix and some sand. To top dress a standard subdivision lot, you will only require approximately one wheelbarrow or 4 bags of triple mix. Simply take your topdressing material and make a few piles in your yard. Once this is done you will want to spread it out and rake it into the grass.
Step 2: Over Seed, Over Seed, Over Seed
Over seeding your lawn is easy and cheap. In most cases a small 2 lb bag of all-purpose grass seed will be able to cover most properties measuring 1500 sq.ft. Over seeding a lawn is not 100% efficient and only 20% 40% of the seeds will germinate, but this is a practice that will help thicken your grass up and easily fill in any bare spots.
To over seed a lawn we recommend using a simple and cheap hand broadcasting spreader. You can pick one of these up at Home Depot or any hardware or landscape store. Note: Having a broadcasting spreader is great for spreading seed, but can also be used for spreading fertilizers, and other lawn care products.
When over seeding a lawn consider the following:
- Over seed in early spring or in late summer when the evening temperature is cooler
- After over seeding take a rake and lightly fan the grass to ensure that the seeds are not stuck to any grass blades and are sitting on the soil surface
- Before over seeding cut your grass to around 1 inch in height
- Water your grass every day for 7 to 14 days. The seeds need water to germinate. I recommend a very light watering once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Step 3: Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn is often overlooked and is a very easy and cheap way to bring a unhealthy or dull lawn back to life. When fertilizing a lawn this should be done three times per season. The best fertilizer with the best results and bang for your buck that we have used is the Scotts Turf Builder “Green Max” lawn fertilizer. This can be purchased at most home hardware stores.
Fertilizer Application 1: Early Spring (Mid-April to Early May)
- This will ensure that your grass has the right nutrients to green-up, spread their roots, and wake up from its winter hibernation. Applying a fertilizer at this time in conjunction with a natural weed inhibitor such as corn gluten will also help prevent clovers and other weeds from germinating.
Fertilizer Application 2: Summer (Early July)
- This will act as a nutrient and mineral top up for your lawn. During this time of year your grass will be stressed due to the summer sun and heat. Fertilizing during this time won’t prevent your grass from drought damage, but you will notice a greener turf after just a few days.
Fertilizer Application 3: Fall (September to Early October)
- This is a very important application. Fertilizing in the fall will provide vital nutrients and minerals to your lawn prior to its winter dormancy. Fertilizing your grass in the late fall will allow for a faster green up in the following spring and will also assist with stronger rooting.
If you follow the above steps, your lawn will be green, strong, and looking its best throughout the entire summer season. The lawn maintenance program as discussed is simple to complete and can be done by anyone. The total cost of all materials including the broadcast spreader, two bags of top dressing, seed, and fertilizer is approximately $40 to 60$. This is money well spent!
If you have any questions, we are always happy to help. Please leave questions or comments in the section below.