Choose climate appropriate grass seed. Fall over-seeding will encourage new growth, which will help to develop a thick lawn that will crowd out weeds.

Step 1: Choose appropriate grass cultivars

All grass seeds are not created equal! Our grass seed is 100% Certified seed which means that it is virtually weed free. It has been bred for optimum colour, germination, cold tolerance and hardiness. Choose from many different mixtures for your individual application. We have full sun mixtures, deluxe shade mixtures, insect resistant mixtures, and low maintenance mixtures that include clover and timothy. We also have 100% Dutch White Clover. Seeding is recommended in the Spring and/or Fall. “For best results, we highly recommend slit seeding your lawn annually!

Step 2: Mowing

Mow your lawn higher. Lawns should be mowed at least 1 time per week when actively growing and to a height of not less than 3 inches. Mowing shorter than this will allow more sunlight to reach areas where weed seeds are attempting to germinate. Mowing higher will discourage weeds from getting started. Never cut more than one-third of the grass plant at any time. Proper mowing to the correct height with a sharp lawn mower blade should leave the lawn clean of excess clippings. Mulching your lawn clippings will return nutrients to your soil, providing additional feeding benefits. It’s like getting one free fertilizer application each year while reducing the amount of material ending up in our landfill sites.

Step 3: Soil Test

Soil testing is highly recommended in order to determine many crucial factors relating to the health of the turf. Soil in the Ottawa area is often high ph and low to extremely low in Potassium. Reducing ph and supplementing with additional potassium can lead to big results.

Step 4: Top Dress Annually

Once a year, apply a compost top dressing to your lawn. Applying compost to your lawn feeds the micro-organisms and increases organic matter content (OM), thereby increasing water holding capacity and drought tolerance. Healthy micro-organism populations break down and release nutrients for the turf while reducing thatch build up. Compost has a natural ability to suppress potential fungus and disease problems. read more

Step 5: Fertilize 4 times/season

Fertilize 4 times per season, early Spring, late Spring, Summer and Fall with a high quality 100% organic fertilizer. Excellent results can be achieved with our Turf Revolution 5-1-5 Alfalfa based fertilizer, or our 8-1-6 Corn based fertilizer. Both these fertilizers will provide the essential nutrients required to thicken and nourish naturally for a thicker, healthier lawn. More resistant to disease, drought, weeds, and harmful insects.

Step 6: Aeration

Aerating your lawn once per year will allow it to breathe. Core aeration will remove small plugs of earth and allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate to the root zone.

Step 7: Irrigate

Proper irrigation is a must! You must be prepared and capable of watering the lawn from early June to the end of August. At the 1st signs of hotter and dryer conditions, provide the turf with the water it needs to remain green and healthy, sometimes 1 watering per week, sometimes 2 or 3 during very hot dry conditions. In the summer of 2006 very little added water was required throughout the entire season due to the ample amount of rainfall. When additional watering is required, water each area for a minimum of 1 hr. Do not allow the turf to go dormant. Allowing the turf go into dormancy will allow weeds and insects such as chinch bugs to invade.

Step 8: Insect Prevention

Practice insect prevention rather than response to an infestation. Use beneficial nematodes to control grubs! They are more than twice as effective as the strongest chemical available at the garden centre. They are completely safe for people, pets, worms, birds, etc. They only affect soil dwelling larvae such as the white grub. When applied in the Spring and the again in the Fall they are an effective means of innoculating your turf and preventing an infestation of white grubs. Nematodes are available retail, wholesale or installed on your property.

Step 9: Careful Weed Control

Develop a tolerance for a few weeds. Most lawn weeds are easily pulled out by hand. Slit seed or overseed to thicken the existing turf and crowd out weeds. If weeds persist, soil test to determine if correctives may be required to condition the soil to be more conducive to growing grass and less to growing weeds. For areas of excessive weeds, sod replacement may be the best option.

Step 10: GO ORGANIC!

Use quality natural fertilizers, garden predators and natural enemies. Now is the time to return your yard into a natural ecosystem where your family and friends, as well as pets, and that ladybug you see every once in a while can survive. When pesticides and chemical fertilizers are sprayed, the good insects are wiped out along with the bad, upsetting your ecosystem and making your yard dependent on future chemical applications to keep it healthy. Meanwhile actually depleting the soil and making your little ecosystem a little sicker.

For more information on kicking the habit, see HOW TO GET YOUR LAWN OFF DRUGS.