As the snow melts away from the winter season and the land starts to dry up, Islanders begin to prepare their properties for the upcoming summer season. Although it is important to make sure that your PEI lawn is ready for the summer season, it is equally as important to ensure ongoing and proper maintenance for a healthy and vibrant lawn.
We recently had a chat with Keir White regarding proper lawn care and maintenance. Keir offers a wealth of lawn care knowledge, having worked at a PEI golf course for many years. He now is co-owner of WM Services and Painting, a company located in Vernon Bridge, PE, that offers lawn care services in PEI such as yard clean-up, lawn rolling, lawn aeration and mowing services.
Below are some tips and considerations to help you maintain a healthy lawn:
Keir White recommends testing your soil as results will help you develop a customized plan for your property. States White: “It is important to test your soil periodically (perhaps every second year) as this will help identify if your soil has excess or is lacking specific nutrients.” Based on the results of your soil test, you can work with a lawn care provider such as Keir to develop a plan to help balance the nutrients in your soil. If you treat your soil for excess or deficient nutrients, it may be a good idea to test your soil again the following year to see if additional treatment is required. You can have your soil tested at the PEI provincial lab.
Aeration helps to address the compaction of the soil. According to White, there are various benefits that come with annual aeration of your property: “Aerating your lawn is the process of perforating your soil in order to improve water and air circulation in the soil by creating air spaces. Aeration will also address soil compaction, which can hinder grass development and lead to clover.” As some lawns benefit from aeration more than others, you may wish to consult with a PEI lawn care provider to assess the value of aerating your lawn.
States White: “Regular fertilization provides nutrients for your lawn to keep it in a healthy state. Fertilizing your lawn will prevent insect infestation and will also help keep weeds out.” You can either choose an organic or synthetic fertilizer for your lawn.
White suggests it is a good practice to lime your lawn as PEI has naturally acidic soil. Based on the results of your soil test, you will have a better idea of how much and how frequently lime should be applied to your lawn. Liming your lawn will help increase the pH level, where, ideally, it should be between 6.5 and 7.0.
Proper mowing on a regular basis will keep your PEI lawn healthy throughout the summer season. White advises to make sure to have your lawn mower serviced and the blades sharpened before each season. Keeping the blades sharp will not only make your grass look better after each cut but it will also prevent harming the lawn. Additionally, regular maintenance of your mower will increase its life span.
During regular mowing, it is important to not set the blades on your mower too low to the ground, especially during the middle of the summer when the sun is hotter and the grass is dry. In fact, it is likely best to not cut your grass at all when its’ growth has noticeably slowed or it has become discoloured; this is likely to occur to your PEI lawn during the month of August over a 2-3 week period. Although an appropriate level to set your lawn mower deck will vary depending on the specifications of your PEI lawn, it is generally a good practice to not mow at a height lower than 3”.
After your grass is cut, it is recommended to leave grass clippings as this will help to add some nutrients to your lawn.
If you would like to learn more about the tips covered in this article as they pertain to your property or what lawn care treatment and services your property should have, contact Keir here for a free consultation!