a rough lawn requires only occasional cutting with a suitable
machine, or grazing by animals.
Maintaining higher quality lawns
may require special maintenance procedures:
- Mowing regularly with a sharp
blade at an even height.
- Not mowing when lawn is wet.
- Not removing more than 30% to
40% of the plant tissue.
- Alternating the direction of cut
from previous mowing.
- Scarifying and raking, to remove
dead grass and prevent tufting.
- Rolling, (to encourage tillering
(branching of grass plants) and to level the ground).
- Top dressing with sand, soil or
- Spiking or aeration (to relieve
compaction of the soil).
- Additional watering.
- Fertilizing application.
- Organic or synthetic pesticide
It must be noted that there is
often heavy social pressure to mow one's lawn regularly. Not merely
not keeping up with the Joneses, an unmowed lawn is seen as a first
sign of blight (urban).
Seasonal lawn maintenance
Seasonal lawn care will vary to
some extent depending on the climate zone and type of grass that is
grown, whether cool season or warm season varieties. In general,
however, there are recognized steps in lawn care that should be
observed in any of these areas.
Spring or early summer is the time
to seed, sod, or sprig a yard, when the ground is warmer. For a new
lawn, adding a fresh load of topsoil to the ground is beneficial.
Seeding the lawn is the least expensive way to plant, but it takes
longer for the lawn to grow and usually needs daily watering, or the
freshly-sprouted grass will die.
Sodding is more expensive, but it
will provide an almost instant lawn that can be planted in most
climate zones in any season. Hydroseeding is a relatively quick and
inexpensive method of planting. A nitrogen-based, slow-release
fertilizer may be applied, when needed. Pesticides, which is an
umbrella term that include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides,
may be considered for use on lawns when required, and where
In Canada, over 130 municipalities
and the province of Quebec prohibit the use of synthetic lawn
pesticides. Although synthetic pesticides exist, organic solutions
are increasingly being used. For example, corn gluten meal controls
weed seeds by releasing an organic dipeptide into the soil and
inhibiting root formation of germinating weed seeds. An application
of beneficial nematodes can be used to combat grubs.
Summer lawn care requires raising
the lawn mower for cool season grass, and lowering it for warm
season lawns. Lawns will require longer and more frequent watering,
best done in early morning to encourage a stronger root system. This
is also the time to apply an all-purpose fertilizer. During the hot
summer months, lawns may be susceptible to fungus disease. Itís
advisable to take a sod sample to a local landscape expert for
testing and treating the yard, if necessary.
In the autumn, lawns can be mowed
at a lower height and thatch buildup that occurs in warm season
grasses should be removed, although lawn experts are divided in
their opinions on this. This is also a good time to add a sandy loam
and apply fertilizer, one that contains some type of wetting agent.
Cool season lawns can be planted in autumn if there is adequate
Lawn care in the winter is minimal,
requiring only light feedings of organic material, such as
green-waste compost, and minerals to encourage earthworms and