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Spring Lawn Care Bootcamp

Posted on May 1, 2017 in Garden, Garden Tips, Spring Gardening

Written by Jason VanderMey

The grass is always greener at West Coast Gardens, fellow gardeners! Why? Because we have a solid spring lawn care routine for an irresistibly lush yard, perfect for summer picnics and barbecues! Get ready to wiggle those bare toes in some gorgeous green grass.

Welcome to Spring Lawn Care Bootcamp!

Don’t worry, your lawn’s health doesn’t depend on how many jumping jacks and squats you can do! Rather this bootcamp is all about combating PH levels and sparring with that scrappy moss.  I should warn you that this can be a ferocious battle and is not for the faint of heart (put on those gardening gloves and break out the wheelbarrow). Here on the west coast, in Vancouver and Surrey, you’ll need tenacious tactics to tame the naturally acidic soil but we’re with you every step of the way!

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Get that soil in shape!

The first step is to take care of the soil. Remember that your lawn is a plant and needs healthy roots. On the west coast we battle our high soil acidity by spreading lime. But what about the kids and the dog? Is it safe? Don’t worry, this isn’t chemical warfare for your lawn! Lime is simply ground up limestone rock and completely natural.

Grab a bag of Dolopril limestone, or another favourite brand, and talk to us about borrowing one of our complimentary spreaders. Sure you can do it by hand, but why work hard when you can work smart? Our free spreaders make sure the lime is distributed evenly and more effectively. Then sit back and wait for the rain to hit (It’s never too long a wait here on the west coast). The best time to lime your lawn is the beginning of March.

Within a week or two you’ll start to notice that your grass is getting greener. See? That was easy! No kettlebells or chin-ups required. The reason your lawn responds so well to the lime is because a neutral PH allows the grass to absorb calcium and iron better, making it healthier and greener. (Like a multivitamin for grass.)

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A diet to keep your yard in shape

After three weeks you’re ready to give that lawn some good grub in the form of fertilizer. Choose one with a high nitrogen level (if you don’t have your lawn bootcamp decoder ring, the first number on the fertilizer bag always refers to nitrogen levels and in this case should be higher than the last two). All this food will spark growth and colour in your lawn, just like a high-protein smoothie after a workout!

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The great moss battle

Sometimes we feel like we’re defending our yards against moss all summer. Here’s my two step plan of attack to beat back this enemy. First, start by using moss killer in the affected areas of your yard as a warmup during the month of April. Then it’s time to call in the big muscle and dethatch your lawn, getting rid of moss and old lawn clippings that are impeding your yard’s potential. Sound extreme? Dethatching is an important part of yard care and can completely clean up your lawn.

The reinforcements have arrived!

My favourite part of spring lawn care is the overseeding, when we get to add some density to our lawns and fill in any bare patches, creating a thick luscious green carpet. I recommend borrowing one of our free spreaders when you purchase your grass seeds, to make sure that your lawn gets an even coating. Wait until the ground has warmed up a bit (April or May) and then choose a grass seed blend that fits your area. We carry blends for front yards, back yards, shady or sunny areas and all your other specific needs.

Now I can just sit back and relax, right?

Of course you want to spend the summer enjoying your new and beautiful lawn, inviting the envious neighbours over for drinks and letting the kids roll around in the yard. But don’t forget that a healthy lawn requires some maintenance.

Crab Grass is an all too common problem from customers at West Coast Gardens. The clash of the Crab Grass can usually be traced back to one thing – cutting your lawn too short. If you’re over zealous with the mower, you could inadvertently be aiding the enemy. Those luscious grass leaves are actually providing cover for your soil from the heat of the sun. When they are cut very short, it not only hamper moisture retention, but can also quickly germinate any Crab Grass seeds in your lawn.

We also recommend fertilizing at the beginning of July, for summer nutrition, as well as in the fall to help your yard survive the winter.