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Tips for caring for the Lawn


1. Roll the lawn as soon as the frost is out of the soil.

2. If there are any bare spots, loosen the soil and reseed before rolling.

3. If moss has formed in shady or moist places it may easily be removed by the use of an iron rake. If possible spade into these patches a coating of well-rotted cow or horse manure. If the stable manure is not available, apply nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia. After loosening the soil and breaking up the clods, apply a top dressing of rich soil over the surface of the area. Sow a shady grass mixture including some of the acid-tolerant types of grass. The soil in these shady places should be prepared in the fall and exposed to the elements over winter. Early in the spring sow the grass seed before the buds of trees make much growth, and in this way the seedlings become established before the foliage shuts out the sun. Prune trees and allow a little sun to reach the soil.

4. Apply a top dressing of commercial fertilizer early in the spring. Sheep manure may also be used at the rate of ten pounds per hundred square feet.

5. Remove dead grass and other litter with an iron rake early in the spring. This will loosen the soil a little and aid the growth of the grass. This should be done before rolling the lawn.

6. Do not work on the lawn when it is very wet.

7. Do not cut the grass too close during the dry periods.

8. Do not water the lawn too often, but when you do, saturate the soil with moisture. Much damage is done by sprinkling the surface soil, and especially when the sun is high. Water in the late afternoon or evening. One thorough watering each week is sufficient on a clay loam, two for a sandy soil.

9. Do not allow the lawn, especially near mature trees, to become so dry that the grass turns brown. The leaves of the grass are not the only part of the plant that suffers; the root system, while it may be alive, fails to function in a severe drought, and many of the roots die. Applying water to these burned areas does but little good. Keep the grass green. Remember that a large elm or maple on bright days will give off tons of water during the summer, and the root system of the tree is competing with the root system of the grass for both moisture and food.

10. Grass may be cut shorter during the early spring than in midsummer or early fall. Raise the mowing machine blade a little for mid-season cutting.

11. Remember in making a new lawn that certain varieties of lawn grass seed do better in certain localities and on certain soils than on others. Get in touch with some authority for advice.

12. It is not a good practice to cut a new lawn too closely, when the grass is about three inches high, set the blades high and cut just before a rain, if possible.

13. In working over old lawns, consider the number of weeds, the type and colour of the grass, condition and fertility of the soil. If you then decide to keep the lawn, remove weeds, dig, fertilize, and seed bare spots, and rake in a sprinkling of bone meal or sheep manure, also a light sprinkling of lime. It is good practice to scatter a little grass seed over the existing grass after raking and before rolling. Use a commercial fertilizer as recommended for lawns after the first cutting. It is cheaper and much more satisfactory to rebuild the lawn.

14. The June beetle (Lachnosterna fusca Froehl) which forms a large white grub, does a lot of damage eating off the roots and causing large dry blotches of dead grass to appear. One of the best methods of control is to spade or plough these spots or the whole lawn in the fall and expose these grubs to the elements.

15. Moles are one of the most dreaded enemies of the lawn. Secure a loop or choke trap and place in the newly constructed burrow. A force of water inserted into the burrow will frequently force the mole to the surface where he may easily be destroyed.

16. Earthworms may be controlled by proper drainage. A limewater solution applied to the soil will bring the worms to the surface where they may be destroyed.

17. In the fall of the year, just before the frosts set in and there is no danger of growth on the lawns, apply a light coating of decayed stable manure over the surface. Early in the spring, rake off the remaining litter. This is a treatment that will keep a lawn in healthy condition and cause the grass to take on a bright colour. If the stable manure is well decayed, there is less danger of weed seeds germinating. After the lawn has become established, it will not be necessary to treat with manure every year.

18. It is not a good practice to leave thick or matted grass on the lawn after cutting. Rake or sweep.

19. Remember there are no bargains in grass seed. Buy the best and insist on a pure seed free from weeds.

20. Lawns may be divided into two groups: one with soils that are alkaline in reaction, and the other with soils that are acid or slightly acid in reaction. If Clovers grow vigorously the soil is of alkaline reaction. These two types of lawns should not only be fertilized differently, but a special grass mixture should be selected for each.
Where the lawns are built on soils of an acid reaction, the use of sulphate of ammonia as a fertilizer helps to destroy the weeds by causing the grasses to grow rapidly and vig?orously, which chokes them out.

21. Take the right preliminary steps and then keep up an eternal vigilance.