If Spring 2020 taught us anything, it’s that people are serious about their grass, and the more they’re home, the more serious they become!
In a world of front yard gardens, rock gardens, natural cottage gardens and innovative landscaping ideas, the reality is that, in Mississauga, grass is still king.
If you’re like many people, however, your lawn is a cross between overgrown in some patches and down to the dirt in others, with a hodgepodge of yellow spots, courtesy of Fido or your furry raccoon neighbours.
Low Spots And Drainage
One thing you might have noticed when the spring rain started pouring is that you have some low spots or depressions in your lawn that are accumulating water. Depending on your soil content, a heavy downpour can struggle to drain properly.
This is a great time, while you’re repairing your lawn, to deal with those depression by levelling them out.
Toemar’s advice? Fill those depressions with Garden Bag’s topsoil. Remember that topsoil has clay in it, so absorption is less, keeping your ground nice and stable, and, if you grade your lawn appropriately, keeping water away from the foundation of your house.
Most importantly, don’t use sand for this purpose. Sand doesn’t hold its shape when water pressure from rainfall is applied. If you use other soil, like veggie soil, for example, your depressions will be back after a few rainfalls!
Repairing grass on your newly leveled lawn
There are two ways to repair grass on a level lawn:
- After you’ve filled your low spots / depressions, put an inch to an inch and half of overseeding soil mixed with grass seed, on top of the topsoil. You’ll need 2-4 kg of grass seed per 1 cubic yard of soil. Don’t use more soil than 1.5 inches; you’ll find there’s too much drainage, and your seeds might dry out.Speaking of drying out, now it’s time to water it.
Will you get a velvety lawn this season? Probably not: it takes time.
If you have dogs and kids, you may want to fence off the area you are working on to allow the grass to take root properly. Paws and feet wreak havoc on freshly seeded areas! You might have to repeat the overseeding process next year to get the thick velvety grass you want.
- If you don’t have time for seeding and want to have a gorgeous lawn this year, or kids and dogs are a factor, consider using topsoil and sod instead.Each sod roll at Toemar is 2ft x 4.5ft of sod (9 feet), which gives remarkably good coverage and immediate results if it’s well watered and protected so that the rooting can occur. With a few rolls of sod and a little TLC, you can have a nice lawn within a few weeks!
A caution about lawn watering…
Remember that you need to water new seed / sod, but overwatering can also be damaging. How much is too much? It can be less about volume than frequency.
With new grass seed / sod, your gut might tell you to water less in volume but to do it more frequently.
In fact, that can create lawn dependency, where your lawn is growing in such a way that it expects frequent watering and if it doesn’t get it? You’ll end up with a shallow root structure.
Your best bet is to water less frequently but give your new growth areas a good soaking. This way the root structures develop deeply and are stronger. After all, who needs a needy lawn?
Insects, raccoons, and squirrels are just a few among the pesky pests that can get between you and a healthy lawn. One thing is for sure: if you’re seeing a lot of skunk or racoon droppings, it’s a pretty good sign that you’ve got grubs and other ‘delicious’ insects below ground.
Whether your lawn is being damaged by the insects themselves, or by pests that are feasting on them, if you live in racoon country, it might be easier to landscape your yard and skip the golf course lawn.
It might be time to surrender to the forces of nature. But take heart, there are so any alternatives to a traditional lawn.
Why not create flower beds, veggie beds, or rock gardens add interest to the landscape in those troublesome areas?
These are more sustainable for the environment, to say nothing of the increase to the value of your home. And if you plant perennials, your efforts to maintain your garden in future seasons are less. Result? More time enjoying your garden and less time planting, mowing and pulling weeds!
A few other tips:
- Grow native species that are appealing to bees and butterflies.
- Work with a landscaper to create a beautiful rock garden. The professional help ensures that you will have the right drainage to avoid damage to yours or your neighbours backyards.
- Include ponds or water features for truly zen environment
- If allowed, artificial turf is a possibility but only in VERY small areas. Covering your entire front lawn with turf impacts rain water runoff patterns, and in many areas is simply not allowed, and we think that’s a good thing. Furthermore, it’s pricey and there are lots of other gorgeous options open to you instead, to ‘soft landscape’ your space!
In Mississauga, like in other recently developed locales, a lot of homes have small yards, so remember that a lawn doesn’t have to be the be all and end all. Think instead about an oasis of a patio, where you can escape after a long day and enjoy the warmth of the summer sun.
If you’re unsure about what to do, come by Toemar and talk to our knowledgeable staff. We can point you in the right direction and even provide referrals to talented local gardeners, landscapers, hardscapers, and arborists. See you soon!