Feed and Fix Your Lawn

oggcloverh.gif (163x98 -- 7647 bytes)

LoYe Your Lawn More

Feeding and Fixing Your Lawn

Wine and Dine Your Lawn

For most lawns, a spring fertilizing with a high nitrogen (first figure in the ratio) mix and another one in fall with a "winterizing" formulation is sufficient, if you've left the clippings to decompose on the lawn all summer.

feedgrass.jpg (134x97 -- 5226 bytes)Purchase a high quality brand that states that the majority of the nitrogen is "slow release".  This prevents burning of the lawn and fast growth spurts because the nitrogen will be released slowly over a period of weeks.

To revive an abused lawn or create a real "show piece" lawn, 4-6 week apart fertilizing will be required.  You may need to apply crab-grass preventer mixes (these suppress all weed and other seeds from sprouting) in spring.  In late spring or summer, a cinch bug or grub control formulation may be needed, or a "weed-n-feed" mix.

De-louse Your Lawn

Yes, you may have a contagious neighbour or inherited a lawn infested with grubs, cinch bugs, or some other nasty lawn-louse.  Now you can't exactly pick the nits off your lawn, although by all means, if you spot a Japanese beetle ambling by, do pick him up and evict him most unceremoniously.

grits.jpg (95x150 -- 5248 bytes)For die-hard insect infestations, do go for the beneficial nematode or bacillus thuringiensis (BT) treatments that provide years of protection.  (See Insect Problems.)

For minor problems, a granular or dilutable insecticide designed for the insect causing your lawn to scratch should suffice.  For ants, do as our LilStinker recommends, and apply grits - yes good old fashioned hominy grits!  No ant can eat just one!

Lawn Dress for Success!

Topdressing in spring and again in fall is another good way to wine and dine your lawn by providing trace minerals and nutrients not available from regular fertilizers.  It also helps improve the soil quality and its ability to hold moisture.

A mix of compost, composted manure, and peat moss is highly recommended.  Apply it about 1/4" thick and work it into the grass with a rake.

The best time to apply this is after you have aerated the lawn, working in the topdressing together with the cores of soil left from the aeration.

Give Your Lawn Some AER

aeratediagram.jpg (95x109 -- 2756 bytes)Yes, it's time to talk about punching your lawn full of holes.  Aeration is required on any lawn  that gets walked on at least every 3 years.  For heavy clay or silt soils, or those that get a lot of traffic, annual aeration is a must.

For large areas, rent an aeration machine - it works much like a lawn mower - or hire someone to do this.  For small areas, you can purchase devices that have hollow tines which will remove narrow cores of soil.

Cover Those Blemishes

Depending on the size and severity of the bald patches in your lawn, you can seed or patch with sod.

Seeding Bald Patches

spreadseed.jpg (117x95 -- 3775 bytes) Dig up the area to loosen the soil, remove some and topdress with good compost, peat moss and/or composted manure.  Add a heaping handful of sand per square foot if you have heavy soil.  Smooth it with a rake and seed 2-3 times as thickly as for overseeding an existing lawn in the table on previous page.  Firm in and water as described above.

Sodding Bald Patches

lay_new_sodsml.jpg (95x99 -- 2879 bytes)With a garden spade, cut through the soil to a depth of about 2 inches in a square or rectangular shape - make sure one of the dimensions will work out to fit the width of a length of sod.  Remove the soil and any bits of grass from this area.

Loosen the soil, add the amendments listed above.  Remove more soil if required to ensure the new sod will be level with the surrounding lawn.  Smooth the area.

Lay the sod over the area, and cut it to fit snugly.  Press it into the spot and firm it down by putting a board over it and standing on the board.  Water in well and keep evenly moist until the patch has established.

Some of the newer fast-spreading grasses are available by mail order and come in "plugs" or "sprigs" (sprig is a small plug - a single tuft of grass).  This is like giving your lawn a hair transplant.   Most likely instructions will come with your order with more details, but here are general instructions:

  • Make a planting grid using stakes and string to mark out rows.  Space plug rows 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the type of grass.
  • plug_planting.jpg (95x90 -- 2728 bytes)Along each row,  use a trowel or bulb planter to make sufficiently deep (usually 1 to 2 inches deep) planting holes 6 to 12 inches apart to form a grid.
  • For sprigs, use a hoe to make 1- to 2-inch-deep furrows spaced 10 to 18 inches apart.
  • Install the plants - set plugs into the holes and firm the soil around them.
  • With sprigs, lay them 4 to 6 inches apart in the furrows, with the leafy sides up; fill in the furrows, burying the bottom two-thirds of the plants.
  • Water in and keep evenly moist until established

Home ] Fall Flowers to Grow ] Fall Memorial Garden ] Bulbs! Hope Springs Eternal ] Lovable Lawns ]

[ Home ]  Site Map ]  Articles ]  The Garden ]  At Home ]  [ Message Boards Mirtha Stuwort ]  facebook ]

Copyright Our Garden Gang 1999-2016