Lawn care

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

Seeding

Spring Summer Fall
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.

Watering

Spring Summer Fall
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.

Cutting

Spring Summer Fall
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.

Fertilizing

Spring Summer Fall
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)

Spring Summer Fall
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

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