Ken Julian is a professional general contractor with over three decades of experience in residential construction and remodeling. In addition, he is a licensed home inspector and has been involved in the construction of over 300 homes.
As a Nova Scotia resident, Ken knows a thing or two about maintaining a healthy lawn in harsh weather conditions. Here are some of his suggestions:
1. Mow high and often.
Always mow your lawn at its highest possible setting so that your grass has less stress to endure during the warm summer months.
2. Aerate your lawn every year.
Springtime aeration helps maintain a good soil structure for better growth and root development in the long run.
3. Be mindful of fertilizer application rates.
It was once recommended that lawns be fertilized somewhere between every six weeks to twice a year. But over time, we’ve found some adverse effects from such focused applications in our local soils, so the recommendation has been lowered to only one single annual application for the entire season. So in most cases, you should only expect to purchase a 50-pound bag every spring and use it all up over the course of one growing season.
4. Don’t forget your local professional lawn care provider.
If you don’t have time, money, or inclination to maintain your lawn, there are numerous professionals out there who can help — especially if you’re not a pro yourself. Investigate the market, ask friends and neighbors for references and interview several candidates before making your final choice.
5. Get ahead of weeds by raking often.
One crucial step to take early in the season is to remove all dead leaves and loose clippings from your lawn. It’s necessary to rake often during the first few months of spring to remove dead leaves, sticks, and other debris before lawn installation. This makes it easier for grass seeds or small plugs from your local nursery to grow properly.
6. Be wary of pests and diseases.
Maintaining a healthy lawn should include regular control of grass diseases, weeds, and pests. Certain lawn treatments are available over the counter at your local garden center or hardware store, but what works for one area or type of grass may not be appropriate in another.
7. Water early in the day or after sunset.
It’s a good idea to water your lawn early in the morning to help minimize the risk of water runoff and efficiency issues. It’s also essential to avoid overwatering your lawn as it may lead to fungus growth.
8. Maintain a good pH balance.
Most folks are now familiar with the importance of keeping their houseplants in an appropriate, nutrient-rich soil with a balanced Ph level between 6 and 6.5 (depending on the type of plant). The same holds true for your lawn’s soil as it helps to foster good root growth and keeps nutrients from washing away or being absorbed too quickly.
9. Utilize a fertilization program that promotes grass health.
There are numerous types of organic fertilizer available locally, but most should be applied at a rate between 2-3 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn. The timing varies depending on the type and formulation of the product used. Still, most professional lawn care providers will schedule a visit around the middle or end of September for their clients to ensure green grass well into spring.