Did you know that a healthy lawn acts as a filter, capturing and breaking down pollutants as rainwater passes through the root zone?
That’s right! The microbes in your soil help break down chemicals, turning them into harmless materials. The natural filtration system of a healthy lawn filters rain water so effectively, it often leaves it up to 10 times less acidic than water that runs off a hard surface!
The reason to invest in the health of your lawn may be different for everyone, but the way we achieve this is the same. So let’s start this week’s blog answering some of the more common questions our team hears from our clients.
I hear that there is a right way and a wrong way to mow your lawn, is that true?
Yes and No.
There are some ways that can be beneficial and some that can be detrimental to your lawn. The first is the pattern in which you mow. Now, while the exact pattern you mow in is not important, what does matter is that it isn’t the same pattern each and every time you mow your lawn. If that happens, over time the lawn will start to have ruts from the tires of the mower going in the same direction each time. So, try to change it up every once in a while. Additionally, we recommend that your lawn is kept to 2 ½ - 3” in length (a bit longer in the warmer months).
But, I like to keep my lawn very short, like at the golf Course, but my lawn keeps going brown, why is that?
It’s a little known fact that Golf Courses have entire teams that are dedicated to their lawns and ensuring that they are perfectly green and healthy. So, because they spend hours each day watering, feeding, manicuring and taking care of the lawn, they are able to keep that grass very short. Now, the length of the blade of grass is the same as the length of the root; short roots need more attention to ensure that the grass is getting all the nutrients and water it needs. So leaving your lawn between 2 ½ -3”, the roots will also be this long and are more able to take nutrients and water from deeper in the soil, requiring less attention from you on a regular basis.
I bought a bag of grass seed at the store, but it didn’t grow. Is there something wrong with my lawn?
Maybe, but probably not.
When manufacturers are selling seed, it is in their best interest to market their seed to the widest customer base possible. For this reason, what happens is that the seed they choose to include in their bags germinates well in most environments. The Lower Mainland is not like most environments. Due to the lack of a really cold winter with heavy snow for long periods of time, there are a lot of grass types that just do not germinate well, nor will they prosper in your lawn.
What is an “Aeration” and why do I keep hearing that my lawn needs one?
A core aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn’s health every year! A core aeration is the removal of small cores of soil from your lawn using a machine called an aerator. The reasons it is so great for your lawn are the many benefits it provides.
- Relieves compression in the lawn
- Increases airflow
- Increases nutrient up-take
- Encourages root growth
- Thins out the thatch layer
- Reduces insect life in the thatch layer
We recommend that every lawn have a Core Aeration in the spring (and potentially in the fall depending on your lawn’s compaction).
Why are there always weeds in my lawn and not my neighbours lawn?
Weeds are an opportunistic plant that is able to grow when the conditions in the soil are not healthy. Most lawn weeds like dry, compact lawns where the grass finds it hard to grow, leaving a lot of open real estate to establish and take over. If you are finding more weeds in your lawn than you would like, the first question should be “how do I make my lawn more healthy?” rather than how to remove the weeds (as this is just a band aid solution).
Re-establishing the health of your lawn will go a long way to reducing the weed population in your lawn. We recommend proper water and mowing habits, as well as regular fertilizing with high quality products, a core aeration every spring, Grub reduction applications during the summer and of course weed control applications when needed.
How do I get rid of Grubs in my lawn?
First, when we talk about “grubs” we are really talking about an insect in its larval stage, specifically here we are talking about the larval stage of the European Chafer Beetle. Since 2006 this insect has been an increasingly worse issue facing lawns today.
Now the Chafer Beetle has a one year life cycle (which makes it even more frustrating) meaning that prevention steps must be taken each year to protect your lawn from this years’ new generation of beetles. Prevention includes making sure that the lawn is healthy (fertilizer, aeration, seeding) and having a Grub Reduction service completed every Summer.
MOSS! Why is there moss in my lawn?
Here in the Lower Mainland, we get a lot of rain, which causes a lot of acidity in the soil - which attracts (can you guess?) moss! So, in order to reduce the amount of moss in your lawn, we must balance out or reduce the acidity in your lawn. We use a specially blended Limestone that helps reduce the acidity in the soil while also helping to release nutrients from deeper in the soil to help add some health to the lawn at the same time. The more rain and shade your lawn receives, the more often you should be applying a high quality lime to your lawn.
How long should I water my lawn for?
When it comes to watering your lawn, it’s not a question of how long, but how deep. That’s right! The depth that the water reaches is the real goal we are reaching for - 1” in depth every 5-7 days. This method of watering is called Deep Watering and is the best method for your lawn as it teaches the roots to reach deeper into the soil where more nutrients and moisture are hiding. When you teach the roots to dig deep, your lawn will be better able to withstand the hotter, drier times. For some tips on how to measure 1” of water, check out our youtube video.
Now that we’ve shared the answers to the most common lawn care questions, we invite you to let us know what questions you still have about your lawn! Your team at Nutri-Lawn of Greater Vancouver would love to hear from you and help bring the health and beauty back to your lawn so you can Take Back your Weekend!
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