If you are looking at your lawn and wondering what it will look like in another month or two when spring’s upon us, here are a few simple things you can do to have a beautiful looking spread of grass without chemical poisons.
What you’re doing is building a deep and healthy turf that will sustain your lawn for years.
- Have You Tested Your Soil?
Grass will grow best when the PH is between 6.2 and 6.8. While a complete soil test is recommended, at least be sure that the PH is correct. If the PH is too low (too acid), or too high (too alkaline), the grass roots cannot make efficient use of nutrients in the soil. PH is raised with lime or calcium fertilizers, and it is lowered with elemental sulphur. You can get a soil test kit at your local hardware or garden center – it takes minutes to do.
2. An Easy Way to Thicken Your Lawn
Spreading grass seed over an existing lawn is the best way to get a lush green swath that’s free of weeds. Where grass is thick and healthy, weed seeds have no place to germinate, and the grass can put down a wider and deeper root system, which can pull nutrients and water from the soil more efficiently. Look for a seed mix specifically labeled for your conditions: sun or partial shade. (Grass doesn’t grow well in full shade, so plant other groundcovers in those areas.) And be sure to get a type of grass suited to your climate. Before you start, cut your grass to about 2 inches high to allow sunlight to germinate the new seed. Spread about 3 to 4 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet.
- Time to Add Some Compost
Add compost to increase the soil’s organic matter content to as much as 7 percent and greatly improve water retention at the same time. To apply compost as a topdressing for areas smaller than 2,000 square feet, use a wheelbarrow and drop small piles intermittently around your lawn; then rake the compost out to about a quarter to three-eighths of an inch.
You can all these now; of course how your lawn looks will also depend on what you do for it come summer. We’ll look at that next time.