It can feel like there’s an informal lawn keeping competition as you drive around Calgary every summer. Just about every lawn seems to sparkle with emerald green and there is a feeling of civic pride about having your grass looking its absolute best. It’s common knowledge that Calgary homeowners spend an incredible amount of time and energy each summer on their grass, and when it comes to preparation and lawn mowing Calgary citizens take first place.
However, these beautiful lawns don’t just happen overnight. They are the result of months of planning and preparation, starting from a good fall cleanup, through spring prep once the snow has melted and then a full summer lawncare in Calgary to get your garden ready for the winter months. Each season has a to-do list that you have to take care of to become part of the beautiful lawn club across the city.
A beautiful lawn in the summer starts with a solid fall clean up plan. The most important fall lawncare project is to clean up as much of the debris as you can. Leaves don’t decay over winter and will quickly turn into thatch in the spring. Thatch is piles of dead matter that sit on top of your existing grass and block all the light and nutrients that are essential for growth. You also need to clean up any pet waste that you have around the yard. This will decompose over the winter months and will leach dangerous chemicals into the soil. Leftover animal feces also acts as a food source for rodents which will only increase the amount of waste material in your yard.
The other major fall project is to aerate and seed the bare patches of your lawn that happen over the summer. The winter snow in Calgary keeps your soil protected from birds looking for food, and when it melts, the snow provides a perfect water source to kick start your new sections of lawn. Time the seeding about a month before the first frost to give your new grass a chance to get started before the winter kicks in.
If you’re excited to see the snow start to melt as it means that you can get back out in the garden, you’re not the only one. There’s a whole lot of lawn care to do in the spring that will help your garden stand out on your street, including these essential tasks:
- Raking – the first task on your spring to-do list is to deeply rake your yard, especially the inevitable bald patches. Not only does this remove any debris and leftover thatch from the fall, but it also breaks up the soil. There are two reasons to break up your soil. Firstly, compacted soil doesn’t grow grass very well as it doesn’t absorb water readily. Secondly, it helps to aerate your soil which promotes microbe reproduction which is essential for strong and long lasting grass growth.
- Seeding – once your soil is prepared, you need to overseed your entire lawn. One of the common misconceptions of summer lawncare in Calgary is to only put seed on the bald patches, but this means that you’ll miss out on future gaps in your lawn. Overseeding, the process of adding more than the “recommended” amount of seed to a patch of your lawn, allows you to be sure that your grass will grow, even if the birds get to some of the seeds before they sprout.
- Fertilizing – finally, having a ready supply of lawn fertilizer is essential to promote early and strong growth. You can find organic fertilizer to put on your new seeds if you have young children who run around in bare feet, or you can simply declare the garden out of bounds for a day if you want to put something stronger down. The trick to lawn fertilizer is to apply early and combine it with your regular watering schedule.
Above all, the spring is a great time to work out how you’ll water your garden as the weather gets warmer and the rainy days get further apart. Whether it’s hand watering to ensure accurate coverage or a sprinkler system to save you time, watering in spring is the key to beautiful grass all summer long.
All of this preparation work sets you up for an easy summer of lawncare in Calgary. You’ll find that that the spring fertilization schedule has given you strong roots so that you can develop your lawn mowing schedule to keep everything looking its best all season long. Mowing your lawn needs to be done with great care and thought, as you don’t want your lawn cuts to be too frequent or too far apart. Remember that each blade of grass acts as an energy factory through photosynthesis, so the shorter you leave them, the less energy each plant is able to generate. On the flip side, leaving them too long encourages sprouting and allows weeds and fungus to grow in the shadows. Long grass is also harder to cut and can damage your mower blades.
Another factor to consider when you’re lawn mowing in Calgary is what to do with the grass clippings. If you’re lucky enough to have a mower with a hopper, be sure to have a place in your yard marked out for the cut grass that is out of the way. This will eventually pack down and can become compost in a few years, but it will look ugly during the summer. If you have to let the clippings spit out of the mower directly onto your lawn, be sure to rake them up (gently this time!) so that they don’t block the light from the living grass.
Getting Professional Help
All of these steps take a lot of time and effort to put in place. If it feels overwhelming, then you want to call our experts at Scoop Cut N Shovel. We offer a summer lawn maintenance service from May to October where we come out each week to cut your lawn, and we’ll even take away the clippings for you! All you need to do is relax in your garden and take pride in having the best kept lawn on the street.