It’s been a tough winter… in fact, it’s still a tough winter.
But, eventually, the snow and ice will melt… and just how tough this winter has been will be fully revealed by the state of your lawn.
Giving your lawn a little TLC will help it return to good health quickly.
Salt and chemical ice melters end up on your lawn, and can kill your grass over the winter. This is usually most noticeable along the road and driveway edges of your lawn, where your grass will be brown.
As soon as the weather permits, soak the affected areas to wash away the excess salt and chemicals. After two to three heavy waterings, plant grass seed and apply a good starter fertilizer to speed up recovery.
Dog urine contains high levels of nitrogen, which can harm grass. Begin repair by soaking the areas to dilute and remove the nitrogen. Repair badly damaged areas by overseeding or patching with new sod. One of my favorite tricks is to use lime on badly damaged areas, it neutralizes the nitrogen from the urine, and allows your new seed or sod to quickly establish itself.
Piles of snow and ice sitting on your lawn cause compaction. If putting a shovel in the ground in the spring is hard, your lawn is most likely compacted.
The solution: aerate your lawn. But wait until your lawn is at peak growing season in late spring for the best results. Ideally, lawns should be aerated in spring and fall – to allow maximum moisture and nutrient absorption.
Bare spots should be fixed right away so that weeds cannot take hold. Select a grass seed that suits your growing conditions (amount of shade and sun, traffic, etc.).
Make sure you also use a good starter fertilizer, and ensure your grass seed is watered in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions to ensure seeds sprout properly.
Most parts of Nova Scotia have naturally acidic soil, which is great for spruce trees and other evergreens, but not ideal for thick, green lawns.
Liming your lawn in early spring, and again in mid-spring (before it is really hot outside), will very quickly give you a thicker, greener lawn that is resistant to disease and weeds.
Slow-release, pelletized lime is readily available in home improvement stores and garden centres, and gives your lawn an ideal start in spring, and a great pre-winter finish in fall. After liming, wait a couple of weeks before applying your spring fertilizer.
It takes a little elbow grease, but these simple steps will give you great results in short order. With the right start in spring, your lawn will quickly be lush and green, and much easier to maintain once the hot weather sets in!
Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.