Here’s how to have the best lawn on the block | Opinion

So you want the best lawn on block? To have a good lawn, you need to understand one simple goal. That goal is to make your lawn the strongest and most vigorous living creature in the neighborhood. If your lawn is thick and strong, it will block out opportunities for weeds to grow.

How to achieve this goal?

rake The first step in spring is to rake and remove debris off your lawn. Some lawns will require a more intense raking called dethatching. Thatch is the brown blades of dead lawn found at the base of your lawn just before the roots. Under a half an inch of thatch is ideal, over a half of an inch of thatch should be raked. Too much thatch can provide breeding grounds for insects and disease while reducing the flow of moisture, oxygen and nutrients to a lawn’s roots.

Thicken. Top-dress with soil and overseeding will help thicken your lawn covering up any bare patches. Weed seeds require soil to germinate, if you block them from making contact with soil you will reduce the amount of weed germination. Midspring and early fall are ideal times to top-dress and overseed. Grass seed requires a soil temperature of 15 to 20 C to germinate; if soil temperatures are not warm enough, you may be just wasting your time and wasting grass seed.

mow Mowing with the right tools, at the right height and the right way is vital to a lawn’s success. The right tool is a lawn mower of any style or type, but the blades must be sharp. Dull blades are like dull scissors, and would your cut your hair with dull scissors? Mowing height in spring can be short but in summer raising your blades to three inches will help improve your lawn’s overall health by shading roots, and taller length will help reduce weed growth by shading any exposed soil and preventing weed seeds from germinating. Never cut more than one-third of the height of a lawn at any one time! When mowing vary your cutting direction each time you mow. By changing directions, you will help reduce ruts in a lawn and blades will stand tall. A reminder the best time to mow a lawn is when it’s dry.

Raking, feeding, thickening, watering, mowing and aerating — all steps in making your lawn the strongest, thickest and greenest on the block. Happy mowing, everyone.

Frank Ferragine is a weather specialist at Breakfast Television at CityNews in Toronto and a four-time bestselling gardening author, a skill he nurtured from a young age at his family’s business, Bradford Greenhouses. Contact Frank at [email protected]

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