Curb appeal is important to a homeowner, and the foundation of a home that looks good from the street is a lush, green lawn providing some rich colour in an urban landscape.
But a healthy lawn doesn’t happen by accident. It takes effort and hard work to give your property the kind of look that makes a good first impression. It also requires the right tools, tactics and strategies that will not only help your grass recover from its dormant winter state, but will also prepare it for the hot, dry summer season.
“Spring is quickly approaching, and with that thoughts are turning to our yards and the work that lays ahead to get them ready for the growing season,” says Canada’s best known gardener Mark Cullen
. “It is certainly the right time of year to begin planning your yard work so that when winter finally breaks and spring settles in, you are ready to go.”
To help you get prepared for the arrival of spring, Mark offers the following tips, tools and tactics to help you fight off the incursion of weeds and give you the greenest lawn on the block:
• Fertilize in early spring. In many parts of Canada, it can be tough to judge when winter is finally, actually over. But at some point in April you should be safe to put down a mix of fertilizer, grass seed and compost. It will help your lawn recover and provide a good foundation for the summer.
• Crowd out the weeds. Absent harsh chemicals, the best way to keep weeds off your lawn is to crowd them out with healthy grass plants. Spread healthy lawn soil and overseed your lawn with good quality grass seed to promote growth of new grass plants that will quite literally leave no room for weeds to take root.
• Fertilize again in late spring. About six weeks after your first application of lawn recovery, apply a slow-release, high-iron fertilizer. Applying fertilizer twice in the spring will foster strong roots and healthy growth into the expected heat waves in July and August.
• Equip yourself. As with any task, the right tools for the job can make all the difference. A multi-function hoe is a must for planting, cultivating and furrowing. A narrow-head hoe has a long handle, but its small head is ideal for cultivating, weeding and spreading soil.
• Collect rainwater. Rainy days can be few and far between in the dead of summer, but there is often ample rain in the spring that can be collected in a rain barrel and used to keep your lawn hydrated when Mother Nature turns off the tap.
“Every yard deserves a little extra TLC to start the season off right,” adds Cullen. “With proper care and the right tools, your lawn is sure to be the best on the block, and looking greener than ever before.”