Fertilizing your lawn is like feeding it. Like any other living thing it needs to be fed! People often over look fertilizer applications or even worse they do them incorrectly. It is such an important part of your lawn care. The three main nutrients required by your lawn are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). The nitrogen promotes the dark green colour, leaf and blade development, and density of the turf. Phosphorous is important for good root and rhizome development and promotes plant maturity. Potassium contributes to the general vigour of the plant and promotes wear and drought tolerance, and winter hardiness.
The government of Ontario recommends a ratio of 4-1-2 for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in that order. Maintaining this ratio is a general guide and it can be adjusted based on the different characteristics of your soil. They also recommend 4 applications per year and so do we depending on weather and other factors specific to your lawn.
Our fertilizer package includes four different fertilizer applications for the year. The first is in the spring as your lawn is doing it’s most growing of the season. The second is in early summer to help prepare your lawn for the hot summer months. The third is in late summer or early fall as your lawn enters its second growing stage of the year, and the final application is in late fall to boost your lawns nitrogen and potassium levels to prepare it for the cold winter month’s ahead. Make the small investment in feeding your lawn properly and save money in the end by strengthening your lawn. With our professional fertilizer applications your lawn will be the thickest and best looking lawn on the street before you know it.
Over seeding can help keep a lawn looking green and lush all season long. Put simply it involves adding a grass seed mix to your lawn which will thicken and strengthen your lawn. When over seeding it is beneficial to add a mix of some different yet appropriate grass plants to add some diversification in your lawns monoculture. Over seeding is labour intensive and must be done properly. It must be done with a proper top dressing making sure the new seed has contact with the soil/compost mix but not covered or smothered by it.
Top dressing is simply adding a layer of a topsoil/compost mix to the top of your lawn. This process is imperative to maintaining a healthy soil bed underneath your sod. It adds organic matter to the soil which increases biodiversity and improves the soils air, water and nutrient holding capacity. Top dressing also helps decompose your thatch layer promoting growth of the root structure of your grass plants. The best time to top dress is right after an aeration.
The magic trio is to properly aerate, top dress and over seed. All three applications are a must for a stressed out or dying lawn but a healthy thriving lawn may only need aeration or top dressing every year. All of these applications are best done in late spring or early fall. Every lawn has it’s own needs and a Total professional will be able to guide you as to what your lawn needs.
Everyone has different goals and expectations for their lawns and don’t always care about the extra little things that you can do to really improve the overall health and look of your sod. Aeration is a simple and cost effective task that only needs to be done once or twice per year and really does work wonders for your lawn. Not to mention save money in the long run!
Over the years your lawn and the soil below it gets compacted and the pore space or air pockets in the soil disappear. This makes it difficult for grass roots to absorb water and nutrients. Before long the lawn will deteriorate and become more susceptible to weeds, insect attacks and diseases. Aeration involves the removal of small cores of soil which are then deposited on the surface. They will break apart and work their way into the lawn after a couple of cuts. The small holes that remain help to break up compacted areas and allow water and air to penetrate to the root zone promoting a stronger and healthier lawn. The cost of aeration is not very high and we consider it to be a great form of preventative maintenance and will definitely help you avoid the higher expenses of dealing with a sick, and weed or insect infested lawn.
One aspect of aeration you should be aware of when choosing a contractor is the transmission of insects or disease. When a contractor goes from lawn to lawn using an aerator that punctures the surface and contacts everyone’s soil it is easy to pass on any diseases or insects to your lawn. This is very counterproductive! Be sure that your contractor takes the appropriate steps to clean and disinfect their equipment after aerating known diseased areas. Be weary of cheap imitations, stick to the professionals. At Total we can guarantee that we take care of our equipment and our clients!
A lawn dethatching is a corrective measure taken to bring an unhealthy lawn with an excessive thatch layer back into balance. Thatch is the layer of built up plant material in a lawn found between the green grass tops and the roots. In a healthy lawn, this naturally developing layer should be 1/2 inch thick. With the help of certain bacteria, the thatch slowly breaks down over time so the height stays constant.
A proper amount of thatch on a lawn helps to protect the grass roots from burning and allows the lawn to retain water. Thatch is not caused by leaving grass clippings on your lawn. Frequent cutting produces clippings small enough to decompose quickly adding nutrients to your lawn. Often aeration is enough to sort out a slightly too thick thatch layer but when the layer gets to be more than 5/8” thick the lawn will really start to suffer and a detaching is probably necessary.
Dethatching is best done with a proper, power detaching rake. It will create a large amount of waste as it pulls up the thick layer of thatch. Your lawn will look thin and bare once the process is complete but don’t worry, this is a tough love application and the lawn will bounce back even better. Total recommends a slow release fertilizer application, an over seeding application and proper watering practises following a detaching to help in the recovery process.
Professional lawn care can reduce the need to dethatch if at all!! Contact Total today and we will point you in the right direction.
Total can remove your damaged or dead sod and replace it with quality sod. We use a power tiller to completely remove the old grass and roots. We put down new top soil and properly grade the area. The new sod is professionally laid and rolled and left with a proper dose of slow release fertilizer to help sod take hold and grow.
Before long you won’t even be able to tell the grass is new. Of course we will leave you with the proper knowledge and advice to care for your healing lawn. A follow up visit will be done to ensure your new lawn or area is thriving!