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Lawn Maintenance Winnipeg

 

Maintaining a healthy lawn involves using good maintenance practices throughout the growing season. Proper mowing, fertilizing, irrigation and thatch control provide a dense, healthy, high-quality lawn in Winnipeg.

Lawn Maintenance is often used when we are talking about reguklar weekly services like cutting and trimming. Spring Power Rakes and Fall Cleanups are often considered to be part of this category as well.

Irrigation is often also consdered part of the Maintenance Schedule as is De-Thatching.  Please find some details for these maintenance practices below.

Mowing

The importance of good mowing practices in Winnipeg is often overlooked. Mowing has a major influence on the turf density, uniformity and aesthetic quality of a home lawn in Manitoba. It is also the most repetitious and time-consuming maintenance practice and is often done incorrectly.

Frequency and Height

Turf can be mowed frequently, provided no more than one-third of the grass blade is removed in a single mowing. Mow as high as possible. Lower mowing produces a shallow root system. Shallow grass roots cannot take up enough water and nutrients, making the lawn susceptible to drought stress. Low mowing encourages broadleaf weed invasion and invasion from grassy weeds such as creeping bentgrass and annual blue-grass. It is best to mow a lawn when the leaves are dry. Dry grass cuts cleanly, and clippings distribute more evenly.

Clippings are Nutrients

Leave clippings on the lawn. If they are excessively heavy, rake them up and remove them. Clippings contain nutrients and water, breakdown rapidly and do not contribute significantly to thatch. You can cut down your fertilizer (especially nitrogen) by 20%-35% by leaving the clippings on.

Mowers

Mowers need the capacity and power to handle the area being mowed. Consider weight, ease in starting, maneuverability, ease of adjustment of height of cut and safety features. Keep mower blades sharp for a good quality cut. Select mulching-type mowers that recycle grass clippings.
New to the market are electric cordless rotary and reel mowers. They are a quieter, cleaner, low-maintenance alternative to a gas-powered lawn mower.

Irrigation

When normal rainfall does not provide enough moisture during the growing season, grass goes dormant and turns brown. To ensure a high-quality lawn, the lawn must be watered. Signs that a lawn needs water include:
 

  • footprints remain while walking across the lawn
  • a slight change in colour to dark blue-green
  • grass blades folding inward

Frequency and Timing

Water in the early morning when there is little or no wind. This provides more even water distribution. Water before midday, when the evaporation rate is the lowest. Watering can be done in the evening, but this may encourage disease development. Most disease-causing fungi require several hours of leaf wetness for infections and disease to occur. 

 

  • Table 2. Suggested application timing of lawn fertilizer based on number of yearly applications.
    Number of Yearly Applications Early Spring Late Spring Early summer Late Summer/Early Fall Late Fall
    1 - - - 1st application -
    2 - 2nd application - 1st application -
    3 - 3rd application - 1st application 2nd application
    4 - 3rd application 4th application 1st application 2nd application

    * each application consists of 0.5 kg of nitrogen per 100 m2

    Amount of Water

    Too much water can cause thatch, fertilizer leaching, increased disease or grassy weed problems such as creeping bentgrass, annual bluegrass or rough bluegrass. Too little water applied frequently can cause shallow rooting of the turf, which makes the lawn susceptible to disease, drought stress or winter injury. Infrequent, thorough watering is best. When the lawn wilts, wet the entire area to a depth of 10-20 cm. The amount of water required to achieve this depends on soil characteristics. To measure how much water has been applied, place a straight-sided can or jar in the area being watered, and run the irrigation or sprinkler for 15 minutes. Check the water level in the can or jar. Approximately 2.5-4 cm of water in the can corresponds to an adequate irrigation of the lawn. If the sprinkler delivered 0.5 cm in 15 minutes, you will need to water for 1.25 hours to get the required 2.5 cm. Areas of the lawn needing more water include slopes, areas near buildings, curbs, sidewalks and light soils. Low-lying areas, shaded areas and heavy soils may not need as frequent irrigation.

    Irrigation Equipment

    Hose watering is suitable for small areas only. A sprinkler attachment provides adequate coverage for an average-size lawn despite the inconvenience of moving the sprinkler and how much water may be wasted. An underground irrigation system is the most expensive, but also the most efficient method, and may be considered for very large lawns or industrial properties.
    Dormant Lawns
    During extended dry periods, a lawn may turn brown and go dormant. A lawn can survive from 4-6 weeks in a dormant state during summer dry periods. Once the rains return, the lawn will green up in 7-10 days. If the lawn is dormant:

    • Keep traffic off.
    • Stop mowing.
    • Do not fertilize.

Mowers need the capacity and power to handle the area being mowed. Consider weight, ease in starting, maneuverability, ease of adjustment of height of cut and safety features. Keep mower blades sharp for a good quality cut. Select mulching-type mowers that recycle grass clippings.
New to the market are electric cordless rotary and reel mowers. They are a quieter, cleaner, low-maintenance alternative to a gas-powered lawn mower.