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Lawn Care, dedicated to Teresa

March 28, 2006
  The lawn is looking nice and wet with the rain we have had the last few nights, and thankfully most of the lime is soaked in so it doesn’t look like snow.  I was talking with a neighbour and I discovered that not everyone has the same knowledge about lawn care that I have, small enough though it is.  So, I thought I would share with my readers what I have to do to take care of my forest shaded lawn, with the help of GardenWorks and their GardenNotes.
   Lower mainland (or rainland) is blessed with moderate temperatures and plenty of rain (if you haven’t gathered already).  Our plot of ground surrounding our modest home sometimes seems more made out of moss then grass, but it is generally a very pleasant rich green.
  To keep up the grass blades which are soft and green in the summer, (the moss tends to go dormant when it gets dry and then gets crunchy but it is spongy and soft now), we need to tend to spring lawn care.  Besides, grass is fun to play on in the summer and bocce balls bounce and roll better on grass then moss or dirt.
  So with the advice from GardenWorks of Burnaby and their publication GardenNotes, I offer this advice;
  Spring Lawn Care is no different from lawn care at any other time of the year – it just happens at a cooler time.  Here are some basic things to keep in mind. 
  Mow high – Grass doesn’t get food from its roots; it manufactures it in it leaves – the green parts.  Cut your grass 2.5 cm (1 inch) high and it will be as healty as you would be on one meal a week.  5cm (2 inches) is the absolute minimum for healthy grass and 8cm (3 inches) is best.  Long grass shades its roots keeping them cool, and also shades out weeds so the find it harder to grow.
  Aerate and overseed – This is probably the most important part of spring lawn care.  Over winter rainfall compacts the soil, squeezing the oxygen out.  Grass roots must have air to function properly.  A grass plant growing in soil packed tight as concrete is as healthy as you would be with your head in a plastic bag.  Compacted soil is also a perfect environment for dandelions. 
You can read the entire article, including sections – Mulch clippings, Water deeply and seldom, and Fertilize if you subscribe to GardenNotes gardening newsletter at
  My mother taught me the other things I need to know about lawns, mostly about weed control.  Like firefighting, keep at those small ones.  It is much easier to pull a weed or two now and then as opposed to letting the weeds spread over several feet and then tackling it.  For dandelions it is important to get the entire root or else it will come back.  They have a tap root (looks like a white carrot) that will come out easily if really wet.  Pull them out after a big rainstorm or use a waterweeder first.  Creeping buttercup can be killed by using herbicides but it is much better for the environment to pull out the plant by hand.  Give it a yank by the base of the leaves and you will pull out the crown and all the little spaghetti-like roots.  Next, I learned from experience, let the man mow.  If someone else wants to do the job, then let them.  More time for me to fuss with my vegetables and flower beds, which I find more enjoyable.
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