Basic Lawn Care Secrets
Lawns, how do you feel about lawns? There are people, a growing number, in fact, who view the average lawn as a waste; a waste of time, money, water and space.
I, too a point, am one of them and agree with the perspective that we could put that space to a much better use. For example, we could develop a native plant garden that attracts wildlife to the yard as it provides food and shelter for the, we could within that space grow native plants, perhaps plants that have become hard to find in the wild.
The lawn could become a food garden and provide food for our families with any surplus being donated to a local food ban or food program. In fact we could set aside a row for growing food for those who can use it.
We, as a society, do need to continue to rethink our fascination with the lawn; however, there are reasons to maintain one.
One reason is a lawn provides a place for children and pets to roam, relatively safe and away from the road.
A second is a lawn is a great place for a BBQ and other gatherings with family and friends. The backyard can become an outdoor extension of the house and the lawn converts to a place to put up a picnic table, play badminton and just enjoy good food and being together.
The front lawn is one of the first sights a visitor sees when approaching your home and is therefore an important element of your property’s curb appeal.
Once you have made a determination about how much lawn you require to match your family’s needs, you will want information on how to maintain that space in the most resource efficient manner.
The Healthy Lawn:
A soil pH test is a good idea, do one every three years to see whether you soils is acidic or alkaline. The ideal soil pH for lawns is between 6.5 and 7.0. You can purchase a soil test kit or hire someone to do it for you.
The pH scale of soil ranges from 0 to 14; the lower numbers indicate an acidic soil and the higher ones an alkaline one.
Once you know the soil’s pH, you know what organic material to add, if necessary to bring it to the desired level.
Once you have purchased the appropriate organic fertilizer, it is time to apply it. In the colder northern climates, fertilize once in the late spring and one more in late summer or early fall.
In warmer climates, apply fertilizer in spring after lawn as turned green and them again in late July or early August.
How you cut you lawn plays a role in its health. You may want to maintain a lawn that resembles a golf green but the more grass blade you remove the weaker the grass.
Set your mower to cut between 2 ½ and 3 inches depending upon grass type.
One of the greatest resource and energy losses when it comes to lawn maintenance occurs when the lawn is watered. If you must water do so in the early morning before the sun has risen too high and the winds are calmer. This reduces the rate of evaporation and allows the water to sink down into the roots.
Of course, you may want to ask yourself why you are watering the lawn in the first place, water is a precious resource that we all too often take for granted.
- City of Toronto: Solid Waste Management - Composting
Compost, yard waste and lawns are all organic substances, and they all factor organically into the city's waste reduction program.