If you enjoy tackling the lawn head-on, here are a few common summertime lawn problems and ways to fix them.
Dry, yellowing or brown grass
To keep your lawn green, water deeply and infrequently. Apply 25 to 40 mm of water early in the day. If you have allowed your lawn to go dormant, 6 to 12 mm of water every two to three weeks will keep root and crown tissue alive. The lawn should turn green again in the cooler weather.
Mid-August is a good time to apply fertilizer—or chicken manure with root-boosting calcium. Always water after fertilizing to avoid burning the grass.
Weeds and other pests
Spot spray individual weeds. Just be sure there’s no rain in the forecast (or watering) for 24 hours afterwards.
Crabgrass targets bare or weakened areas in your lawn, especially in late summer. A healthy, green lawn is always your best defence, so over-seed and apply triple-mix to fight all invaders.
Grubs may be been eating the root system of your lawn if turf can be easily lifted from the ground. Raccoons and birds will also tear up your lawn to access grubs. Although some insecticides are available, you’ll need to check what’s approved in your municipality.
Tip: Is your lawn really getting you down? Try planting drought-tolerant grasses or consider xeriscaping (‘dry landscaping’) using other plants as ground cover.
If you’re thinking about hiring a lawn care service, these five points will help you:
- The company should provide information about their education, licensing, and the products they use. Chemical applications should only be done by a licensed professional who also gives the appropriate prior notification, and complies with the regulations within your municipality.
- Review the lawn program and services provided. A good lawn care company should allow you to opt out of certain treatments. Remember also that high prices don’t always mean quality service. Beware of companies that will knowingly over-fertilize—and charge you for it.
- Check what online reviews, your friends, and neighbours have to say about the company.
- For organic lawn services, ask for their certification or accreditation of appropriate formal training. Remember that “organic based” or “green” are marketing phrases that do not mean organic.
- ‘Mow and go’ companies provide a convenient service at a reasonable price. A crew of two or three will quickly trim edges, mow lawns, and blow the walks. They are extremely helpful for leaf removal in the fall.
By Zoë Waller
To begin your search, why not take a look at our directory of lawn maintenance specialists in your area?