SPRING LAWN CARE BOOTCAMP
How to care for your lawn on the west coast.
The grass is always greener at West Coast Gardens, fellow gardeners! Why? Because we have a solid spring lawn care routine for an irresistibly lush yard, perfect for summer picnics and barbecues. Don’t worry, your lawn’s health doesn’t depend on how many jumping jacks and squats you can do!
Rather this bootcamp is all about combating pH levels and sparring with that scrappy moss. I should warn you that this can be a ferocious battle and is not for the faint of heart (put on those gardening gloves and break out the wheelbarrow). Here on the west coast, in Vancouver and Surrey, you'll need tenacious tactics to tame the naturally acidic soil but we’re with you every step of the way!
USING LIME ON YOUR LAWN
Get that soil in shape!
The first step is to take care of the soil. Remember that your lawn is a plant and needs healthy roots. On the west coast we battle our high soil acidity by spreading lime. But what about the kids and the dog? Is it safe? Don’t worry, this isn’t chemical warfare for your lawn! Lime is simply ground up limestone rock and completely natural.
Grab a bag of Dolopril limestone, or another favourite brand, and talk to us about borrowing one of our complimentary spreaders. Sure you can do it by hand, but why work hard when you can work smart? Our free spreaders make sure the lime is distributed evenly and more effectively. Then sit back and wait for the rain to hit (It’s never too long a wait here on the west coast).
The best time to lime your lawn is the beginning of March, in the first two weeks. Within two-three weeks you’ll start to notice that your grass is getting greener. See? That was easy! No kettlebells or chin-ups required.
The reason your lawn responds so well to the lime is because a neutral pH allows the grass to absorb calcium and iron better, making it healthier and greener. (Like a multivitamin for grass.)
FERTILIZE YOUR GRASS
Four weeks after you've limed your lawn, it's time to give it some good grub in the form of fertilizer. Choose one with a high nitrogen level (if you don’t have your lawn bootcamp decoder ring, the first number on the fertilizer bag always refers to nitrogen levels and in this case should be higher than the last two). All this food will spark growth and colour in your lawn, just like a high-protein smoothie after a workout!
SUMMER & WINTER FERTILIZER FOR LAWN
We also recommend fertilizing your grass at the beginning or middle of July. This provides summer nutrition as your lawn deals with the heat. As well, in the fall or winter months use a winter fertilizer to help your yard fill up on nutrition before becoming dormant for the colder portion of the year.
THE MOSS BATTLE
The great moss battle Sometimes we feel like we’re defending our yards against moss all summer. Here’s my two step plan of attack to beat back this enemy.
First, start by using moss killer in the affected areas of your yard as a warmup during the month of April.
Then it’s time to call in the big muscle and dethatch your lawn, getting rid of moss and old lawn clippings that are impeding your yard’s potential. Sound extreme? Dethatching is an important part of yard care and can completely clean up your lawn.
OVERSEEDING THE LAWN
My favourite part of Spring lawn care is the overseeding when we add more density to our lawns and fill in any bare patches, creating a thick luscious green carpet. I recommend borrowing one of our free spreaders when you purchase your grass seeds, to make sure that your lawn gets an even coating.
Wait until the ground has warmed up a bit (March, April or May) and then choose a grass seed blend that fits your area. We carry blends for front yards, back yards, shady or sunny areas, and all your other specific needs. Four weeks after you overseed, feed your lawn with a high nitrogen fertilizer. And make sure not to mow your lawn after seeding for at least three weeks!
Crab Grass is an all too common problem from customers at West Coast Gardens. The clash of the Crab Grass can usually be traced back to one thing - cutting your lawn too short. If you’re overzealous with the mower, you could inadvertently be aiding the enemy. Those luscious grass leaves are actually providing cover for your soil from the heat of the sun. When they are cut very short, it not only hampers moisture retention but can also cause quick germination of any Crab Grass seeds in your lawn.
FOLLOW UP CARE
Now I can just sit back and relax, right? Of course, you want to spend the summer enjoying your new and beautiful lawn, inviting the envious neighbours over for drinks, and letting the kids roll around in the yard. But don’t forget that a healthy lawn requires some maintenance like mowing, watering, and sometimes patching.
PATCHING YOUR LAWN
If you've ended up with some patchy spots—don't worry, it can be fixed. Sometimes we have to focus on the trouble spots when we're in boot camp! First; rake away the dead patches to expose the soil without breaking it up and add in a layer of top soil to freshen up the spot. Then, scatter grass seed evenly in the area, blending it into existing grass so that it will look seamless. Water the area with a water breaker or sprinkler to gently give it H2O without creating puddles or washing away your seeds.
For even more nutrition, mix your seeds with manure (like our quality bulk manure here at West Coast Gardens) before sprinkling the mixture on your patchy spot—they'll grow at super speeds!
We wish you a wonderful Spring and Summer with your new and improved lawn. Thank you for joining us for our Spring Lawn Care Boot Camp, consider yourself graduated!