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Turning the town of Petrolia green

Is it just us, or are the lawns in Petrolia looking pretty great these days? 

We might be a little biased, but we think it’s because Reed’s lawn care tips from our last blog post have gotten out.

(We can’t be sure they’re causing all this beauty, but we can’t be sure they’re NOT causing it either.)

Either way, we’re loving the effect. And lucky for us, Reed’s back at it this week with even MORE tips to help us keep those lawns looking lush!


He’s back at it, sharing his best-kept secrets when it comes to fertilizing, spraying, and other treatments to keep your lawn healthy — and almost as nice as what you’re used to seeing at Kingswell Glen. 

Let’s get the ball rolling with…

Weed Control

We’ll be honest here: We say “almost as nice Kingswell” because in 2008 there was a Pesticide Ban introduced that restricts homeowners from using the same chemicals used by golf courses.

You can still get great results with the products that are available to homeowners, even if they aren’t the same ones that we use on the course.

One variety of weeds that we work hard to control are broadleafs such as clover, dandelions, knotweed, etc. Common weed killers that you can find at home improvement stores are pretty effective for taking care of these gaffers.

What’s great about these products is they’re pre-mixed and come with applicators — so there’s no mixing or calculations required to get the application rate right.

Reed's Recommendation: Fall is the best time to treat broadleaf weeds like dandelions, because fall treatments prevent the seeds from wintering and delay the growth of the plant in the spring.  While this may not stop the weeds from showing up next year, it will make it easier to control them with spot treatments. Sounds like a win to us!

 

Fertilizer


When it comes to fertilizing your lawn, Reed suggests three times per year as a good target: once each in mid-May, mid-August, and late September.

Why fertilize so late in the year? Because it’s important for turf to transition into winter dormancy with a full root zone.

This means it will “sleep” for the winter with all the nutrients it needs for spring. When it comes out of dormancy, it will be recover from winter and start growing much sooner — so your lawn looks nicer than your neighbour’s lawn sooner.


Unlike the numbers on Joe’s scorecard, the numbers on the fertilizer bag are important. They represent the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content of the fertilizer, and each ingredient is important.

Nitrogen is the most important ingredient, and here at Kingswell Glen we use fertilizer that's 30% nitrogen by weight. Potassium is also key because it helps with the root uptake of nutrients, which enables the plant to fend off summer drought stress. We aim for 8% potassium by weight for our turf.


Aeration


While we know you don’t like putting on greens after we aerate them, aeration is an important agronomic practice to keep your lawn healthy because it helps get oxygen to the roots, and gets less desirable gasses like methane out. 

In addition to this, aeration helps remove thatch (organic matter) from the turf, and the channels made while aerating help roots grow. This results in better water infiltration, and helps the roots absorb nutrients more effectively.

These practices make for a much healthier lawn.

While aeration is a good thing to do throughout the year, if there's only one opportunity to make it happen, fall is the best time.

 

To bag, or not to bag?


We asked Reed if we should be using the bagger that came with our lawnmower to clean up all the grass clippings. After all, that’s why it’s there!

The truth is that while bagging the grass might be nice to do for aesthetic reasons and to keep the lawn looking tidy, he suggested that it’s actually best for you to mulch the clippings.

This allows the clippings to break down and compost in place, returning nitrogen to the lawn.

Taking the clippings away is OK, but if you go that route, you may need to add more nitrogen inputs via fertilizer.

 

Hopefully between this post and the previous one, More Than Just Mowing, you’ve gotten a ton of information about how you can make sure that your lawn is the best on the block.

And if you see him around the course, make sure to give Reed a “Thank You” for the time he spent sharing these lawn care gems with us.

While these tips on their own might not give you a lawn you can putt on, they’ll go a long way to making your neighbours green with envy.

 

(But not quite as green as your lawn).