All About Grass

Check out these tips and ideas to grow a vibrant, healthy lawn each year.

One of the greater joys of summer is walking barefoot on a stretch of lush green grass. Here’s all you need to know about growing a verdant lawn:

Types of Grass
You’ll need to assess site conditions to make sure that you get the appropriate grass seed. Do you have sun? Shade? A mix of both? Your local nursery or garden centre can tell you what grows best in your region, but here are some tried-and-true varieties:

Cool Climate Grass

  • Kentucky bluegrass (shade)
  • Fescue (sun/shade)
  • Ryegrass (full sun)

Warm Climate Grass

  • Bermuda (full sun)
  • Zoysia (sun/shade)

When to Plant
Where you live will dictate the best time to grow grass seed. Generally, late spring and early autumn are perfect times.

In northern climates, late summer is the traditional time of year to plant. Weeds are not as aggressive, soil temperature is at its peak and night-time temps are beginning to drop. For warm-season grass, plant in late spring. This will reduce the risk of “burning” your grass and the weather will still be damp enough to help the seed grow.

Planting Grass Seed
Before planting, consider taking a sample of your soil to a nursery to run a soil test and determine what (if any) nutrients would be helpful for planting grass.

  • Use a seed spreader to make this part easy. Find them at any nursery or garden centre.
  • Use a medium-high spreading setting on the spreader to ensure you have thoroughly covered the area.
  • After spreading, use the back of a rake to lightly go over the entire area to ensure proper seed-to-soil contact.

Covering Options
Cover the seed to keep it moist (which encourages germination), protect it from birds and limit movement. After planting, be sure to keep people and pets off the grass for the first few weeks.

  • Peat moss: The most commonly used cover protects and provided nutrients. Use just enough to cover the seed.
  • Hay: Use hay if planting grass on a sloped or hilly spot. It stays in place, especially during rainfall. Remove it after the seed germinates and you can see sturdy grass poking though the hay.

Tip : When shopping for hay, look for a weed-free variety, such as salt hay.

Thorough, regular watering is essential for successful germination. Water just enough to keep the ground wet, without puddling, which will wash the seeds away. Give the ground a good watering in the morning, and, depending on the climate of where you live, another in the afternoon.

Cut it back once the grass reaches a height of 7.5 to 9 centimetres (3 to 3 1/2) inches, and only apply grass fertilizer (if desired) after the second mowing to ensure the grass has rooted correctly.

With these tips, you can really take control over how your lawn grows and looks throughout the season.


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