The quest for a lawn that looks like a golf course leads to gardening methods that are harmful both to health and to the environment. Source: Bulletin d'information toxicologique, vol. 16, no.2, April 2000, p.5-16.
Cutting the grass to a height of 3 inches (7.5 cm) is recommended to reduce the risk of pests and to keep lawns greener longer. A longer lawn requires less maintenance and is more resistant to drought.
Seasonal lawn-care program
|Possible but preferable in the fall||Not recommended||Recommended from mid-August to mid-September|
|Seed thin areas|
Turf may be laid at any time. Rolling helps to push the roots into the soil. Water thoroughly and do not walk on the wet turf.
|Not necessary||Water thoroughly after 10 days without rain.||No watering necessary unless there is no rain.|
|A 3 in. (7.5 cm) lawn does not need watering until the end of June.||Let the lawn go yellow, it will go dormant and come green again in the fall.|
|If there is no rain for 7 to 10 days, water thoroughly.|
|Height: 1st cut at 2 in. (5 cm) and then increase cutting height to 3 in. (7.5 cm)||Height: 3 in. (7.5 cm) all summer.||Height: reduce from 3 in. to 2 in. until growth ceases.|
|Never cut more than one-third of the length at any one time.||Avoid cutting during periods of drought||Have the blades on your lawnmower sharpened for next year|
Leave the clippings on the lawn.
|Use a fertilizer that is 100% natural.||Do not fertilize because of the risk of scorching the lawn and feeding the weeds.||Add white clover and sweet clover to your lawn: these plants add nitrogen naturally to the soil.|
The lawn clippings decompose and provide over half the nitrogen requirements.
Thatch (old, dead grass)
|Rake and remove old grass||Correct the pH if necessary (an acid soil slows down the decomposition of the thatch or dead grass).|
|Aerate as needed and add compost.|
The lawn contains thatch (dead grass) if a barrier of 1 cm to 2 cm prevents you from touching the underlying soil.
Did you know that dandelions will:
- cover 50% of the lawn if the grass is cut to 3.5 cm
- cover only 1% of the lawn if the grass is cut to a height of 7.5 cm.
It is also important to keep the lawnmower's blades sharp. Doing this reduces the risk of lawn disease and decreases the lawn's dehydration after being cut