Friday, September 18, 2009

Canadian Spring And Summer Lawn Care

By Steve Karback

In the early spring dead leaves and litter should be removed from the lawn in the spring using either a broom or a light rake. Do not use a heavy steel rake. Aeration and liming, if necessary, may also be done at this time.

Dead spots in the lawn should be raked with a steel rake to loosen the soil. Re-seed and then tamp level with the back of a shovel to firm the seed into the soil.

An application of a turf fertilizer before active spring growth begins will provide a good start for the grass, and this can then be maintained by subsequent applications over the season. Fertilizers containing "slow release" nitrogen will nourish the grass for 1 to 2 months or longer following application.

After excess moisture has disappeared, the lawn should be rolled to press back any turf which was heaved by winter frost.

In late spring when the grass has reached a height of 2-1/4" to 3", it should be mowed. Mowing too early in the spring tends to be hard on the grass. Grass should not be cut closer than 1-1/4". If weeds such as dandelions, plantain, etc. are present, spray with an approved weed-killer. Late spring, when the weeds are actively growing is the best time to apply, the recommended rate on the label. When applying and chemicals and especially weed killers, care should be taken not to allow spray drift to contact ornamental shrubs, flowers or vegetables.

If "Weed-N-Feed" is used, broad-leaf weeds are killed and the lawn is fertilized in one operation, saving time and assuring that bare patches where weeds were are filled in by rich turf.

During the summer, the grass should be cut at frequent intervals in order to maintain a height of 1-1/2 to 2 inches. The frequency of mowing will depend to a great extent on the weather, and the amount of sprinkler irrigation received.

During periods of rapid growth, it may be necessary to mow the lawn twice a week for best results. If the lawn is mowed frequently enough, the clippings will be short and will not require removal.

Water when the grass first shows signs of suffering from drought. Leave the lawn sprinkler in each position for an hour before moving, to soak the water well down to the root-zone.

For quick stimulation of "worn out" looking lawns in mid-season, apply a water-soluble fertilizer and plenty of water.

During the summer, the following pests may appear and you should ready you lawn sprayers:

1. White Grubs - This pest lives in the soil and feeds on the grass roots causing dead patches to appear in the lawn.

2. Earthworms - Small mounds of earth may appear on the lawn surface, being thrown there by earthworms traveling underneath.

3. Ants - Ants may become troublesome and annoying and may also build ant hills in the lawn.

The fall is an ideal time to treat the lawn for weeds which have invaded the grass during the summer. Fall treatment eliminates dandelion flowers from the lawn next spring. If clover as well as other weeds are to be eliminated.

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