Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Give your grass the edge against weeds

  • Print
The lawn is a collection of many plants, all of which need to be in top form to out-compete weeds.

PHOTO BY CARLA KEAST Enlarge Image

The lawn is a collection of many plants, all of which need to be in top form to out-compete weeds. Photo Store

Regardless of your opinion about the upcoming ban on synthetic chemical pesticides, it is going to affect the way many care for their lawns.

The ban is scheduled for 2015, which gives some time to prepare. In today’s column, I’m going to cover basic lawn care, and next week offer suggestions for reducing the lawn.

We refer to the lawn as if it was one large unit, but it’s actually a collection of plants. Each plant needs sufficient light and moisture in order to thrive, and all have a limited life expectancy. All are continually competing with weeds for space, light, and moisture. Healthy plants are going to offer steep competition; sickly plants will simply be pushed aside. It is all about competition.

Start your own competition campaign with annual overseeding. There will be weed seeds on the lawn, might as well give them lots of competition from lawn seeds. Give your seeds an added edge by matching the seeds mixture to the growing conditions of your lawn. You may need different mixtures in different areas of the lawn.

Adjust the height of the mower blade. In early spring, a height of 3.5 cm stimulates root growth and allows sufficient light down to the soil for seed germination. During the summer, a height of 7.5 cm totally changes the sun-moisture game at the soil level. Longer grass creates shade at the soil, and weed seeds need sun in order to germinate. That same shade keeps grass roots cool and protected from heat stress so the lawn maintains a top-notch competitive edge.

Spread the grass clippings over the lawn as you mow. They are a great source of nutrients and you can’t beat the price! Further feed it with a slow-release organic fertilizer in the fall.

Daily watering is important during the spring while the seeds germinate and the plants establish themselves. By summer though, frequent watering can cause more damage than good.  Including rainfall, 2.5 cm a week is ideal.

Plants grow best in loose, open soil. Compacted soil is in fact ideal for dandelion growth. Aerate every year or two.

Even with your lawn in top-notch competitive form, there will still be weeds. That is the nature of the great outdoors. If there are only a few, hand weeding will do the trick. Otherwise there are a number of organic herbicides available. Follow the recommended application rates and timing for best results.

Carla Keast has a master’s degree in landscape architecture and is a Winnipeg-based freelance landscape designer. She can be reached at contact@carlakeast.com.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Do you intend to visit the CMHR once it’s fully operational?

View Results