Heyes Landscaping, Uxbridge, ON
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(905) 852-5070
Tips of the Trade

Click on a question or tip below to find information on frequently asked landscaping questions.

  1. How to water your new sod?
  2. Why overseed?
  3. Why fertilize?
  4. How to care for your interlock.
  5. No salt please!
  6. Why dethatch?

1. How to water your new sod -
Give your new lawn at least 2 to 3cm (1 inch) of water within 1/2 hour of installation. You can measure your sprinklers water output by placing an empty can on the lawn and checking the level after about half an hour. Using the level collected, you can gage how long you need to leave the water on. Water twice daily for the next two weeks, keeping turf moist until it is firmly rooted (about 2 - 3 weeks). Then less frequent and deeper watering should begin. Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. Be certain that your new lawn has enough moisture to survive hot, dry or windy periods. Water areas near buildings more often where reflected heat dries the turf roots out faster. Also....during the first three weeks, avoid concentrated use of your new lawn. This gives the roots an opportunity to firmly knit with the soil, and insures that the turf will remain smooth.

2. Why overseed -
A thick healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds, disease, drought and insect damage. Over-seeding can quickly repair a lawn that is thin and patchy from winter burn, damage from drought and extreme heat, damage from grubs, chinch bugs and other insects. Introduction of a new variety of grass to modify or even out your lawn is also popular if you have uneven grass sprouting up in patches or a fescue mix to blend in multiple types, especially in rural areas with lots of fields. Apply seed in the spring when soil temperature reaches 15°C (about 60°F) - Ideally mid May to mid June. The best time for maximum germination is mid August to mid September when soil is warm and the nights are cool. If you have spread grass seed in the early spring, it will not germinate until the soil temperature reaches about 15°C (about 59°F).

3. Why fertilize -
Your body needs good food to stay healthy. Without it, you get thinner, more prone to diseases and wither away. It's the same with grass. Without fertilizer, the lawn will get thinner, become pressured by diseases and weeds and eventually wither over time. Lawn fertilizers are made with three main ingredients: Nitrogen (N), Phoshorus (P) and Potassium (K). Three numbers represent these ingredients on the front of the fertilizer package. For example, 24-4-8 would indicate 24% N, 4% P and 8% K. Nitrogen promotes green growth and is the basic building block of protein. Phosphorus stimulates root formation and provides energy for the plant. Potassium strengthens the plant tissue and increases resistance to diseases and drought. Your lawn should be fertilized a minimum of 3 times a year - early spring, mid-summer and fall (a good root feed).

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4. How to care for your interlock -
To prevent weed growth in the cracks, adding a good quality silica sand annually will help keep germination at bay. A new product on the market is Polymeric sand, its more expensive, but it stays in place better than any sand on the market. If using traditional brick sand, cover the area with a light layer, allow to dry and just brush into the cracks. This extra care will help maintain the look of your interlocking for years to come. Heat is attracted to hard surfaces like brick work. Therefore, the grass directly butting up to walkways and retaining systems need more watering. Inadequate moisture leads to unsightly tough grass rooting like crabgrass and field grasses which can take the focus off your landscaping feature.

5. No Salt Please -
Typical road salt is corrosive. When applied to prefabricated materials like interlocking bricks or mortar between flagstones, it will eat and break down the material it is scattered on. This will lead to discolouration and over time a breakdown of the brick or mortar itself. We recommend the use of branded ice melter products instead. Look for one that is especially designed for concrete pavers and slabs, is non-corrosive and is effective down to -30° C (-22° F). The nice thing about recognized ice melter pellets is that they require less product than regular de-icing salts.

6. Why dethatch -
Thatch, a layer of living and dead grass stems and roots is the natural consequence of a healthy lawn. It becomes a problem only if you let it get too thick, stopping water and nutrients from penetrating the roots. Dethatching a lawn is best done every two years, preferably in the spring. If you let it go for too many years, removing thatch can become a long expensive process. Dethatching frees new grass shoots to grow in thick and lush, giving the lawn a healthier look and feel. The right amount of thatch provides a soft surface for bare feet and makes the lawn more resilient to wear and tear. Too much thatch makes a lawn too dense. It may be green on top, but it is brown and dead looking underneath. When such a lawn is mowed, the brown layer is exposed, and the lawn looks "scalped" even when it is cut to an acceptable length.

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