At Fraser Strata Care Ltd. we have done extensive research on lawn care and have over 30 years plus experience! We have also followed research and found that a well landscaped lawn and curb appeal can add up to 20% increase in value on homes! A healthy lawn contributes to your property value and the overall appearance of your neighborhood. It provides a natural, safe surface where your family can play and relax. By following a few simple tips, you can or of course we can!! keep your lawn healthy, get the perfect lawn and environmentally beneficial.
Tip #1. Mow high and return the clippings
Mow high, preferably 2.5 to 3 inches. Mowing short weakens the root system and gives weeds a chance to compete with the grass. When the mower is higher the clippings don’t clump. As a general rule we the experts say to remove only one third of the leaf with each mowing.
Return the clippings. If you only cut one third of the leaf under dry conditions, the clippings will fall evenly on the soil surface. A mulching mower will further chop-up the clippings, which will help speed-up the decomposition process. Grass clippings are about 85 per cent water and don’t contain lignin. The soil microbes are able to breakdown leaf clippings more readily than they can decompose thatch. During the summer, clippings decompose and return nitrogen and other nutrients to your lawn. The decomposition is slower in cool weather. So the further north you live, the more you’ll need to monitor the build-up of clippings. (We can’t always do this on strata complexes).
Tip #2 . Watering
Water infrequently and deeply to encourage deep roots. It’s difficult to say how much water to apply since it depends on soil type, species of grass, mowing height, temperature, wind and other factors.
Tip #3. Pests
A healthy, vigorous, dense turf is the best defense against invasion by weeds and other pests. Check your lawn regularly to catch problems early. Usually the presence of a few insect pests or weeds is not cause for concern. Insects rarely damage healthy lawns in British Columbia (Vancouver and Tri city area). Most insects you’ll find in your lawn will either not be a problem or may even be beneficial. If you’re concerned that insects may be causing damage, consult us the lawn care professional.
Ideally, a home lawn only needs to be fertilized when nutrient levels drop below what’s needed to maintain it in a healthy condition. Compost will add organic matter and provide the major and minor nutrients in a slow release form. Organic fertilizers such as activated sewage sludge or steer manure also supply all the nutrients needed for healthy growth.
Inorganic commercial fertilizers usually contain the three major nutrients: nitrogen (N) to promote leaf growth and dark green color, phosphorous (P) for root growth, and potassium (K) for stress resistance. The three numbers on the bag represent the percentages of each of these elements – always in the order “N-P-K”. Unless the instructions say otherwise, inorganic, commercial fertilizers must always be watered-in after they have been applied. Otherwise, you’ll burn your lawn.
The type of grass, type of soil, age of the lawn, weather conditions and other factors mentioned above, such as returning clippings and watering frequency, will all determine rates and timing of fertilizer applications. A soil test by a professional laboratory is the only sure way to access nutrient needs accurately.
Tip #5 Repairing weak spots
A healthy lawn will usually repair itself. With proper watering and fertilizing, thinned areas, small gouges and dead spots will fill in. Kentucky blue grass turf thickens quicker after damage than other less aggressive species such as creeping red fescue. That’s why turf professionals use it for golf tees and playing fields that suffer frequent damage. Reseeding is also an option as well as creating a beautiful stone path or pathways! or maybe a deck!
Tip #6. Shade
Lawn grasses need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight for healthy growth. If the lawn receives much traffic, it should get 6 hours of direct sun daily.
Recap and some extras:
Select the right species of grass to ensure you’ll have a healthy lawn in shady areas. Creeping red fescue tolerates shade better than Kentucky bluegrass. Mow high, don’t mow any shorter than 3 inches in the shady areas of your lawn and return the clippings when possible. Water occasionally, it will take as long as there is sun! Pests don’t really like grass, but if you have a problem consult the experts. Fertilize and water shady areas less than the sunny part of your lawn. If you’re having difficulty maintaining grass cover in areas where people walk, put in a stone or bark chip path to keep traffic off the grass. Often shade-tolerant ground covers are an excellent alternative to grass in shady areas that don’t need to carry traffic.