How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn

Are you looking to have the best yard in your neighbourhood this season?! Now is the time to start! While maintaining an attractive lawn, it is important to concentrate on the basic needs and conditions of the lawn and soil to fix any issues. Preventing lawn problems is usually easier than treating them with chemical pesticides after the issues start. Here are some simple tips on how to maintain a healthy lawn.

Rake Thatch
Rake any thatch – any dead grass from the previous year. Too much thatch reduces water and nutrients moving down to the roots and can shelter damaging insects and fungi.

Regularly fertilizing your lawn gives it the necessary nutrients to keep it strong and healthy. It will help out-compete any possible weed infestations and will make it tolerate a certain degree of insect infestation. Choose a fertilizer high in nitrogen with some iron for your first fertilizer application. Move to a fertilizer that has a longer-lasting effect for your second application. This type of fertilizer will release over the season rather than quickly. Fertilize in April/May or September when the lawn is actively growing.

Maritime soil is often very acidic. Sweeten the soil by adding lime. It is recommended to apply twice a year. Test your soil to determine whether your pH level suits your lawn. It should have a pH of 5.8-6.5.

Overseeding is an easy and effective way to strengthen your lawn and protect against weed problems, especially in sparse areas after the winter cold or summer heat.

How to overseed:
1. Rake the bare or thin areas vigorously to loosen the soil.
2. For thickening-up purposes, apply at half the recommended rate.
3. For patching-up purposes, apply at the full recommended rate.
4. Apply a thin layer of topsoil on patched-up areas.

Aerating the soil increases air and water circulation by opening up air spaces. Compacted soil is bad for grass development and often results in weed infestations such as plantain and clover.

Mowing Habits
Good mowing habits will help the overall health of your lawn. It is healthier to mow more frequently and keep the grass longer than removing too much at once. Maintaining your grass at a high of about 2-3 inches makes it more tolerant of drought and better to compete against weeds.

Grass Seed
Grow a lawn with more than one type of grass. Lawns with mixed grass are more tolerant of different growing conditions and insect- and disease-resistant.

Lawns usually receive enough water from rainfall, but in the driest summer periods, ensuring your lawn gets enough water is vital. Water just enough so that about 1 inch covers the entire surface of your yard. Watering in the morning or evening will reduce evaporation.

Weed Control
Weeds are prone to grow in lawns that are in poor condition. Weed seeds quickly germinate and grow in damaged areas where the soil is compacted or grass that is heavily damaged by insects and diseases. Re-seed any bare or damaged patches quickly. Walk in different places to avoid compacting the soil or waring bare spots in the grass.

Pest Control
Some lawn problems don’t seem to go away and might need a pesticide. Figure out what’s causing the problem, and visit your local Feeds’n Needs for advice on the best product to resolve your lawn issues. You can ask our Experts in-store any questions about your lawn care process. Great lawns start with Feeds’n Needs!

Early lawn care process:
April to May – Set a plan, rake, lime, create air movement, sunlight, and start with a clean slate.
May to June – Overseed and fertilize OR take care of weeds
July to August – Water (deep); mow (about 3″); fertilize, and weed
September to October – Lime, overseed and fertilize
Early November – Rake, dormant fertilize, dormant seed, put to bed

Halifax Seed Company – Lawn Care: How to Maintain a Lush, Green & Healthy Lawn
Healthy.Lawns.pdf (

Allan Kennedy

Store Manager, Antigonish NS