It might be June but it feels like July out there! It’s hot! This heat wave is already taking its toll on lawns across the city and we’ve got two more months to go. Are you facing the grim reality of a brown lawn this summer? Don’t fret. The best defense is a good offense, yes? Here are some tips to help get your lawn prepared to withstand the summer extremes in Ottawa.
Please don’t wait until your lawn is in its death throes before calling in our Nutri-Lawn Ottawa lawn care experts. Prevention is worth an ounce of cure!
Choose Seed Wisely
Grass is a plant, and like any other plant has growing conditions it prefers and will thrive in. There are a lot of varieties of grass, and here in Ontario we’re mostly looking at cool season grasses.
Ryegrass, Bluegrass, and Fescues are the most popular grass varieties in Canada and are often available in mixes to compensate for each other’s weaknesses. As a mixture, these varieties will repel insects and disease, and are drought tolerant. Native varieties of grass seed will be better adapted to Ottawa growing conditions and require less maintenance.
Aerate and Dethatch
Aeration and dethatching are best done in the fall, but can be done anytime. Thatch is a thick layer of organic matter that doesn’t decompose quickly enough and stays on top of the soil creating a thick layer that repels water and shelters bugs. Where insects shelter they breed and then they’re next year’s problem too. Getting rid of the shelter and breeding grounds will go a long way to getting rid of the pests that will decimate your lawn over the summer.
Proper Lawn Maintenance
Plants are picky things. They like things just so before they’ll thrive. Grass is no different, though is fairly tolerant of neglect to a point. If you want your lawn to stay green all summer instead of turning into a crunchy brown mess, there are certain techniques you’ll need to employ.
Your lawn requires about 1inch of water at a time. If you apply more than that, or less, the grass will stress. Ideally, you want to avoid stressing the plant as much as possible. Even in drought conditions, you can water the lawn more frequently but never more than an inch at a time.
Water is best applied in the early morning hours before the day heats up. This prevents mold and mildew growth, evaporation, and prevents heat stress.
Your lawn will not thrive if kept mown too short. A short lawn will wither and go dormant a lot faster in a heat wave than grass left longer. Ideally, raising the mower deck to 2.5-3 inches will help the grass shelter the soil keeping it cooler and moist longer. Mowing grass puts stress on the plant, so mowing during a heat wave is stress upon stress.
The lawn care experts at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa would love to answer these and any other questions you might have. Contact the grass pros at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa to give your lawn the edge over weeds and extreme weather this summer.