For lawn-loving Canadians who don’t mind the challenges of regular lawn maintenance in Hamilton and elsewhere, fall is the best time to grow a lawn. However, cultivating your lawn from the ground up requires tedious work. Popular Mechanics contributor Joseph Truini shares a few tips to homeowners:
If you’d like a lush new lawn next spring, then start planting grass seed now. Autumn provides the right combination of sun and water to quickly germinate grass seed, and the cooler temperatures help to kill off crabgrass and other weeds, so there’s less competition for the grass seedlings.
Here is a brief step-by-step guide on how to plant a lawn from seed.
Step 1: Determine the soil’s pH level – The pH level of the soil affects plant growth. Soil can be tested easily through a DIY test kit available at most local gardening stores. Compare the soil solution’s colour to the kit’s colour-coding chart. A pH lower than 6.0 means the soil is acidic, and a pH higher than 7.5 means the soil is alkaline—either condition not ideal at all for growing grass seeds.
Step 2: Remove rocks and roots – Every visible rock and root must be dug up, including those that need more than just a conventional garden rake to dig up. When holes and depressions appear, these must be filled with topsoil, and smoothed over with a rake.
Step 3: Add compost and sand – It helps if sand and compost are evenly spread over the planting area. The sand must be incorporated into the topsoil layer, and then spread with compost. Completely till over the mixture of sand, compost and topsoil using a rotary tiller.
Step 4: Supplement the soil according to registered pH level – After the soil’s pH levels are determined, it’s time to make the adjustments, if necessary. Acidic soil (pH between 5.8 and 6.5) must be made more alkaline by adding lime, manure, or wood ash. For alkaline soil (pH level above 6.5), adding sulphur is effective, though slower-acting; iron sulphate can also work, which, despite its price tag, is much faster than sulphur in working the acidity into the soil.
Step 5: Rake and spread the grass seed –The grass seed can now be sown in equal amounts over the entire area, preferably using a handheld broadcast spreader. Raking helps level out the planting area after theseeds have been sown.
Step 6: Water regularly – The last step is a critical component of lawn planting—watering. Ask any local Hamilton lawn care company, such as Green Collar Landscaping, and every one of them will recommend regular watering as the key to maintaining a beautiful lawn.
(Source: 7 Steps to Seeding a New Lawn, Popular Mechanics)