Turf Science

Are troublesome turf issues making it difficult for you to properly manage your lawn care maintenance? Do you spend more time studying fertilizers and herbicides than you do enjoying your outdoor space? If your lawn is having trouble making the grade, it could be because you lack the proper understanding of turf science. Lucky for your, the lawn care and inground sprinkler system installers at Nutri-Lawn know a thing or two about backyard biology.

First Lesson: Identifying Grass Types
Most Ottawa and area lawns are composed of two main types of grass: Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa Pratensis) and Red Fescue (Festuca rubra). Both grass types have a similar texture and colour, so it's very difficult to tell them apart. The main difference is that Kentucky Bluegrass flourishes in hot, sunny areas, while the Red Fescue prefers cooler, shady areas. If you're having trouble getting grass seed to take in your yard, the automatic sprinkler system installers at Nutri-Lawn highly recommend reviewing the type of grass seed that you're planting. Your problem could be in the seed!

Lesson Two: Monitoring Seasonal Patterns
Ottawa turf goes through two distinct growing seasons. This bimodal growth pattern is caused by the local climate and soil. The first growing season hits in the early spring, normally during late April and early May. By mid-spring, the roots of your turf will have reached their maximum depth and your grass will be exceptionally healthy. Remember to overseed and aerate your lawn during this crucial growing period in order to help ensure that your grass gets as many nutrients as possible. Once the heat of the summer hits, your grass will likely become dormant as it attempts to conserve nutrients and survive the hot summer days. Watering your lawn regularly with an inground sprinkler system will help your grass remain healthy during this period of extreme stress. Your grass will begin to grow again once things cool down mid-August.

Lesson Three: What You Need to Know About H20
Nearly 90% of the total mass of a grass plant is water. Insufficient irrigation of your yard can result in major lawn care issues including leaf disease, discolouration, and insect invasions. In order to ensure that your lawn is receiving the right amount of water, Nutri-Lawn's lawn care experts recommend installing automatic sprinkler systems in both your front and back yard. These state-of-the-art irrigation systems should be set to the following recommended irrigation levels:

  • Spring and fall: deep but infrequent waterings
  • Summer: light and frequent irrigation

Remember: the roots of your grass are at their shallowest during the hot summer months. Setting your automatic sprinkler system for prolonged periods of irrigation is pointless and will just waste water. Short spurts throughout the day will be far more beneficial.

Lesson Four: What About Thatch?
If you're watering your lawn properly, but still having trouble tackling your turf troubles, it may be because of a deeper issue. Thatch, a common build up of grass stems, roots, clippings and other yard debris is often responsible for suffocating turf, making it difficult for water to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. De-thatching treatments, like core aeration and topdressing applications, can help rid your law of this stifling issue.

Passing Grade
If you need a refresher course in lawn maintenance look no further than the inground sprinkler system installers and lawn care experts at Nutri-Lawn. Contact their Ottawa office today for a free lawn care consultation.