For some reason some of you care passionately about what I do to my lawn. Here is my spring update.
The lawn weathered the winter far better than I thought it would. We have one sparse patch and the dog did her best to kill some of it off but over all, it is way better off than I expected.
Some of that I credit to using fall fertilizer. It made a big difference which I need to remember this fall.
We have used six bottles of Killex on our lawn to control dandelions. Some of you have success using the dandelion bar, I have never seen any difference. I have no idea why it doesn’t work for us.
Despite using six bottles so far of Killex, I have a boulevard of dandelions this morning. It’s the same with everyone else but no one else is fighting it. Also the abandoned lot behind us isn’t helping things.
I have fertilized heavily this year. I used to reseed the dead areas but then I am naturing new grass every year. This year I am fertilizing and then waiting for it to grow in. I guess the idea is that I want more of the grass that is successful surviving our winter, not some stuff that is designed for a more temperate climate and looks good in the summer and then dies off.
I wish I didn’t have to fertilize this month but like a lot of houses in Mayfair, topsoil was never used. It’s gotten better since we moved in but it isn’t ideal.
In the past I have spread out peat moss and compost to help with soil conditions but for the first time since moving in, the lawn feels spongy as a result of putting down stuff on top of the clay that we had before (I have said before, the biggest mistake I made was not bringing in topsoil and rotor tilling my entire lawn when we moved in).
I will be using compost tea later this summer. I tend to fertilize every six weeks and around the start of July I will brew up a batch and apply it to the lawn. The advantage of compost tea is that it promotes deep roots on grass and makes it hardier. It is also environmentally friendly.
I will continue to leave the clippings on the lawn. Grass is largely water and it makes a big difference to the soil after leaving it on the lawn for several years. I do roto-rake to break up the thatch in the spring but when you have a clay foundation to your yard like we do in older neighbourhoods, organic material makes a big difference. I water a lot less now that I did years ago as a result.
I do use some Roundup. We have problems with an illegal ground cover (it’s banned by the city) crawling over our boulevards. Killex won’t kill it so in the past I have just killed everything and then replanted a hardy grass. I used it around my driveway now.