At the end of the mowing season, plan lawn improvements
If the grass always seems greener on your neighbour's side of the fence, the experts have some advice that will help make your lawn the envy of the neighbourhood the whole season long.
Start by dividing the season into five stages: early spring, late spring, summer, early fall and late fall. By following a few simple steps in each stage, your grass will be healthy all year round.
"The most important time to care for your lawn is in the spring," says Aaron Mahoney, a lawn and garden expert. "By starting the season off right, you'll have less work on your hands and a better lawn under your feet."
In early spring, apply a 'weed-and-feed' combination to the lawn. It will encourage the grass to green up earlier and controls weeds such as crabgrass and clover. Once applied, it's important to stay off the grass when possible. Wet soil in spring compacts easily, making it difficult for grass to grow well.
Late spring is the time to apply fertilizer. Fertilizer feeds the lawn and encourages it to grow thick and lush. Start watering the lawn when rainfall gets below an inch per week.
In the summer, you will also need to apply fertilizer to continue to feed the grass.
Once the leaves start to fall, that's the queue for the fourth application of fertilizer. It is also important to rake leaves regularly, in early fall, as they can kill the grass beneath. The more frequently you rake, the easier the job will be.
The final stage is late fall. Now that you've enjoyed your lawn all summer, it's time to prepare it for the long winter ahead.
To 'winterize' your lawn, apply fertilizer made specifically for the season. Late fall is also the time to patch thin or bare spots as needed or start new lawns from seed or new sod.