After a long, cold winter with a lot of snow, many of us in Calgary are looking at our property with a touch of dismay. Despite the relatively nice weather (remember the amount of rain we had already seen last summer at this time?), some lawns are looking patchy and scraggly, with yellow spots being a common problem. The reasons are many: it could be because of more pet damage than usual because of the extended cold weather, excessive thatch because of being unable to keep up with regular mowing last year, weeds choking out the healthy stuff (it has been a really good year for dandelions) or just a lawn that’s struggling to bounce back. Regardless of the cause, however, fixing the dead spots is basically the same process.
Mirage Landscaping of Calgary has been the landscaping choice of the southeast part of the city for three generations. We never just “cut and leave.” Our job is to not only maintain your property, but to improve it.
Power Raking, Aeration and Fertilizing
It’s not unusual for people in Calgary to forego their spring clean up. We get it. What with everything else that needs to be done in the spring, such as cleaning out your gutters, picking and sweeping up winter debris and dragging out your summer furniture, it can be hard to get a spring clean up scheduled.
Fortunately, though, it’s not too late! And to keep your lawn looking its best, the adage “better late than never” is completely applicable.
Power raking removes excess thatch, and is one of the most effective ways to revive a lawn that’s looking tired and worn-down. Thatch is made up of stems, roots and dead plant material, creating a subsurface layer that can help protect your lawn. However, too much thatch is a bad thing; it can prevent water from reaching the roots of your grass, block airflow and inhibit nutrient penetration.
Aeration either removes small cores from the soil bed of your lawn, or else slices thin, deep grooves into the ground, creating punctures that allow for greater levels of air exchange. It prevents soil compaction and helps oxygen, water and nutrients reach the roots of your grass.
Both aerating and power raking help enhance the benefits of fertilizer by allowing it spread more evenly and better penetrate the soil. The thick, lush carpet that results from fertilizing also reduces weed growth by “choking” them out and improving your lawn’s natural resistance to damage. Fertilizer adds the vital nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (plus a few more) to the soil, nutrients that are easily depleted due to water runoff, inclement weather and over use.
How to Repair Patchy Grass
If the damage has already been done, however, take heart. There’s lots we can do to restore your lawn before the end of the summer.
We’ll start by raking out the dead patches to expose the soil beneath, and then we’ll spread a layer of high-quality top soil over the bare spots. Then we will put down a good amount of seed, mix it in with the top soil, then put down one more layer of seed for good measure.
New seed needs consistent moisture to grow. It’s best to lightly water newly laid seed several times per day until it starts to germinate. The germination process usually begins one to three weeks after planting.
Once we treat your lawn we’ll raise our mower blades a bit to protect our work and give your lawn a better chance to protect itself.
For heavily damaged lawns, occasionally it’s a good idea to start over completely by sodding. Sod can get you a more consistent look faster, but it is more expensive and labour-intensive. We can cut out the most beat-up areas to lay down healthy new sod, or even strip your entire lawn down to the dirt and re-sod the whole thing. It all depends on what is the most cost-effective treatment is for long-lasting, hardy results.
Read more about seeding vs. sodding here.
Make Your Lawn Care Easier With Underground Irrigation
If your lawn is nothing more than bare dirt or in such dire straits it needs to be removed entirely it’s the perfect time to consider the installation of an underground sprinkler system. Sprinkler systems reduce the use of water and are more effective at ensuring your lawn and gardens are watered thoroughly and consistently. Contact Mirage Landscaping of Calgary for a free quote on any landscaping job.