Top Notch Lawn Tips From Kingswell Director of Grounds, Reed Minielly
The green grass, the striped turf, and the sound of the mowers in the distance…it’s intoxicating, isn’t it?
If you’re like most people who have experienced the aesthetic bliss that is a well-maintained golf course, you’ve probably wondered: “How can I get my lawn to look like THIS?”
(You’ve thought it. Admit it.)
To help your grass look as classy as the turf at Kingswell Glen, we sat down with our own Director of Grounds, Reed Minielly, to learn about what goes into growing a healthy and lush lawn in Southwestern Ontario.
As it turns out, there’s a lot more to a nice-looking lawn than driving in a straight line.
There was a lot to dive into here, so we’re making this post a two-parter:
We’ll start by sharing some of Reed’s best watering and mowing techniques, and in our next post we’ll wrap up with tips on fertilizing and aerating your lawn, to keep the roots and soil healthy.
With the heat we get during Ontario summers, it’s easy to think that your lawn needs to be watered every day. But this isn’t necessarily true!
According to Reed, it’s important to water your lawn as infrequently as possible. But when you do water it, do so for longer periods with a larger volume of water.
This is better than watering every day because it encourages the plant’s roots to push themselves down into the soil to look for water.
Reed says, “The deeper the roots, the healthier the turf.”
By watering less frequently (but with for a longer period of time), the roots of your grass will go deeper to access the moisture, and your lawn will survive heat and drought much better than if the grass had shallow roots.
If you water every day for short periods of time, the grass’s roots can shrink upwards.
Your lawn will tell you if it needs more water.
Signs Of A Stressed Lawn Include:
- The grass looking a little shiny
- Curling grass blades, or
- When footprints remain longer than what’s typical
If you see these signs, you may need to increase the amount of water you’re giving those greens.
With proper watering techniques, don’t be surprised if your lawn grows thick and tall.
When it does that, it will be time to pull out your mower and give it a trim.
We didn’t! (But Reed did.)
Depending on the time of year, you may want to adjust how long your grass is. Reed points out that lawns can typically be cut a little shorter in the spring and fall (+/- 2 inch height) vs. the summer (2.5 inches +).
This is because the warmer summer temperatures can stress the plant, whereas in the spring and fall the cooler temperatures aren’t so hard on it.
This is true even if you’re watering your lawn regularly.
There’s also more to mowing than the height of the grass. Did you know that the AMOUNT you cut off the grass blade matters?
For cool season grasses (like Bluegrass, which is common in Ontario lawns), there’s a “rule” that you shouldn’t cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade’s height. This avoids undue stress to the grass, which could cause it to wilt and go into dormancy.
One final grass cutting tip is to keep an eye on your lawn and cut it as frequently as is needed to maintain your desired height, while not breaking the “1/3 rule”.
In cooler months, this may require cutting your lawn 2-3 times per week; in the hot summer months you may mow less frequently, because the plant grows more slowly in the heat.
Remember: Grass is a living organism.
While we can provide you with tips like this, they are intended only as a guide. You may need to adjust or customize them based on your lawn and its unique growth patterns.
Each lawn has different soil, light, and growing conditions — which all need to be considered if you want your grass looking its best.
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