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Grass 101

By April 21, 2020 No Comments

Seeding A New Lawn

Select a good quality seed for your conditions; click here for a list of the choices we carry.

To seed a new lawn in spring, begin as soon as the soil is dry enough to work so the new grass can establish itself before the hot weather sets in. Remove all stones and construction materials from the site – buried wood will cause mushrooms to grow in your lawn. This will continue until the wood is completely decomposed which can take several years.

Slope the area gently away from the house and rake level. Grass grows best in well-drained soil. Make sure you have a 10 cm (4”) base of top-quality topsoil. If you need more soil, order topsoil from your local garden centre.

Need help calculating your soil and grass seed needs? Contact us with your square footage and a helpful Kool Breeze Farms staff member will determine how much you need.

Spread the soil over your lawn area and add McCain’s starter fertilizer 8-20-12 and pelletized lime according to the instructions on the bag. Rake the soil level, spread seed. Finally, rope off the seeded area. Keep well-watered for 4-5 weeks but avoid making puddles.

You should wait to cut the new lawn until it is about 3 – 3 1/2″ tall. Do not cut the new grass too short; only cut about 1/3 of the height. You may need to adjust your mower blades.

4-Step Lawn Fertilizer Program

Spring Fertilizer

After raking the lawn in April when it’s firm enough to walk on without leaving footprints, apply KBF MultiGrow 29-3-6 Lawn Food for strong, green growth.  Some of the nitrogen (the first number in the fertilizer formula) will release quickly for a rich green, carpet effect while the rest slowly releases over a 14-week period. When you use either fertilizer, water it in well immediately after application. In spring your lawn only requires one application of fertilizer. Choose either MultiGrow 29-3-6 or Scotts Turf Builder Pro 32-0-4 Fertilizer.

Apply pelletized or powdered lime at the same time. We recommend the following method: apply fertilizer, lime, then grass seed. You can do it all in the same day. The best time to apply is early morning or evening.

Summer Maintenance for bugs

Summer is the time to prepare your lawn for control of grubs and other lawn insects. Because grubs can destroy an entire lawn by eating their way through the root system, apply Green Earth Grub Busters or Scotts Grub B Gon Max according to package directions. These two products will move into the root zone to control grubs where they are feeding. For the best results, apply either product when the soil warms up, usually around the middle/end of June when larvae are actively feeding near the surface.

Fall Fertilizer

KBF MultiGrow 19-0-2 or Scotts Turf Builder Pro 32-0-10 Fall Fertilizer can be put down anytime from September to November. Potassium (the last number in the fertilizer formula) builds resistance to winter injury and disease.  Autumn fertilizing is crucial for strengthening your lawn for whatever winter throws its way.

Overseeding Your Lawn

Grass can become thin and patchy due to shade, heavy traffic, drought, insects, or disease. To rejuvenate and thicken it, overseed in spring or early fall.

Start by cutting the lawn shorter than usual and then rake the area thoroughly. Put down a lawn fertilizer like KBF MultiGrow 29-3-6.

Smaller areas: Prepare the area for repair by raking it clean and roughen up the soil surface with a rake. Spread 2.5 cm (1”) of a topdresser (top soil or black earth works well) in the area to be seeded. Then spread the seed by hand. We recommend using approximately 20% more grass seed than you need to ensure good coverage and to account for the seeds eaten by birds.

Larger areas: for larger areas, or to overseed the entire lawn, use a rotary spreader. Rake in seed lightly with a grass rake. Rope off seeded area to avoid disturbance to the seedbed. Water well and keep moist for the next 4-5 weeks.

If you’re repairing/overseeding in spring and you feel your turf could still be thicker, seed again in September when the days are still warm and the evenings are cool. It’s safe to mow the newly seeded lawn when it’s 3”- 3.5” high.

At Kool Breeze Farms we sell two excellent grass seed mixtures. Deluxe Overseed is great for sun or partial shade, while Quick Shade is appropriate for shady areas.

Sod

Sod is the quickest way to repair bald spots. It comes in rolls about 3 m (9’) long and 40 cm (16”) wide and is easily cut to fit. For larger areas, it’s more expensive than seed but it gives a beautiful lawn much more quickly. Follow the preparation instructions above for seeding a new lawn and start laying the rolls of sod starting at the rear and working to the front so you don’t walk on the new sod. Make sure each strip is firmly butted up against the previous strip so there are no gaps. Fill a lawn roller one-third full with water (any more and it will be too heavy) and roll the whole sodded area to eliminate air pockets and to ensure the sod makes contact with the soil below.

Water for 3-4 hours. Lift a corner of the sod to make sure water has penetrated through the sod to the soil base below. Water every day for the next 2 weeks and keep moist during hot summer weather. Mow as needed.

WATER IS KEY to growing any grass whether it’s from seed or sod.

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