Winnipeg Lawn Services

Ph: 669-5296

Why lawns matter?

Well-managed lawns are an environmental asset. They can help protect — or even improve — water quality. Poorly managed lawns — whether by neglect or through the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides can be an environmental liability. What you and your neighbors do with your lawn matters.

Healthy lawns provide many benefits:

  • Lower air conditioning bills. Moisture evaporating from grass leaves helps keep air temperatures cooler, compared to paved surfaces.
  • Less pollution. Lawns can help filter pollutants out of the air, and reduce noise pollution, especially when used along with physical barriers.
  • Higher property values. Attractive lawns contribute to the overall appearance of a community’s landscape.
  • A place to play. Grasses are the only plants that can stand up to repeated recreational use.
  • Better water quality. The thick sod formed by grasses helps water soak into the ground. This helps reduce or eliminate runoff that can carry soil or other contaminants into waterways.

What’s the proper cycle to water my lawn?


Never water at night. The best time to water is early in the morning, between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Evaporation is low at this time so more of the water makes it into the soil. Also, leaves will begin drying quickly in the morning sun, reducing the chances of diseases. Avoid watering on cloudy days.

How much?

It’s tough to say. It depends on the soil type, cutting height, use, temperature, wind and a host of other factors. But in general, a healthy lawn loses about 1 inch of water per week during summer.

If you receive an inch of rainfall every week through summer, chances are pretty good that your lawn should come through with little moisture stress. If you get less, you can make up the difference through sprinklers or an irrigation system. Your water application rate should supplement what you receive as rain. If you get � inch of rain one week, only apply another half inch.

Use a rain gauge, coffee cans or other containers to measure rainfall and supplemental water.

It’s also important not to apply water faster than your soil can take it up. How fast your soil can absorb water is called its infiltration rate. When your irrigation rate is higher than the infiltration rate, puddling occurs on level areas. But on slopes, the water will run off and can carry sediments and other pollutants with it.

To avoid this, measure your soil’s infiltration rate by cutting off both ends of a coffee can and inserting it several inches into the soil. Pour about 1 inch of water into the can and time how long it takes to soak in. Then measure your irrigation rate by placing a coffee can (with the bottom intact) in the area watered by your sprinkler, and time how long it takes to fill the can with 1 inch of water. Your irrigation rate should not exceed your application rate.

What can I do to prevent water stress?

  • Plant grass species that require less water, such as fescues.
  • Mow grass higher, encouraging larger root systems.
  • Avoid spring N fertilizer applications.
  • Leave grass clippings.

Coping with shade

Grasses are sun-loving plants, for the most part. For healthy growth, lawn grasses need at least 4 hours of direct sun a day. If they receive much traffic or wear and tear, they need a minimum of 6 hours.

In addition to being weak from lack of sun, grass in shady areas can suffer more diseases because of cool, moist conditions and lack of air circulation. Poor grass stands in shady areas are vulnerable to erosion, which can carry sediments and other pollutants into surface water.

Here are some options for coping with shady areas:

  • Choose the right grass. In spots that get marginal light, plant fine fescues, which are more shade-tolerant than other lawn grasses.
  • Grow other ground covers. Grass isn’t your only choice. Consider attractive and vigorous shade-loving groundcovers
  • Plant a shade or woodland garden. There are hundreds of herbaceous perennial flowers and foliage plants that will thrive on in shade.
  • Mulch around trees. If you don’t have the energy to maintain a shade garden, consider using about 3 inches of wood, bark or stone mulch around the base of trees. (Don’t pile mulch against the base of the tree trunk.)
  • Build paths. If grass grows OK in your shady areas except where people walk, put in stone, gravel or other path to concentrate wear and tear in one area and keep traffic off the rest of the grass.
  • Mow high. Grass in shady areas should be allowed to grow taller than grass in direct sun. Do not mow any closer than 3 inches.
  • Fertilize and water less. Grass in shady areas grows slowly and needs less fertilizer and water.
  • Let in more light. Remove lower branches and selectively prune other branches or remove whole trees to let in more light.

Managing lawn insects

Lawns are home to many, many insects. Very few of them are harmful, and many are even beneficial.

Healthy grass plants can tolerate some feeding by the harmful insects. But when the number of pests reaches a certain level – called a threshold – the quality of your lawn can be hurt. The open spaces the pests create in turf can be ugly, vulnerable to erosion, and invaded by weeds.

Regardless of the pest, the best way to minimize damage is through prevention:

  • Keep turf healthy through proper mowing, watering and fertilizing. Healthy turf will tolerate more pests.
  • Plant the right grass for your location. Choose grasses that resist pests, such as endophytic varieties of perennial ryegrass, fine leaf and tall fescues. (Endophytes are beneficial fungi that live on the grass and discourage surface feeders.)

Preventing lawn diseases

By the time you see lawn diseases, it’s really too late to do much about it — at least in the short term.

Lawn diseases are caused by pathogens, usually fungi. The fungi are almost always around, living off dead and decaying material in the soil. You just don’t notice them because the grass usually fends them off.

But when the environmental conditions are right — usually plenty of moisture and the fungi’s favorite temperature — and your grass is stressed, the scale is tipped in favor of the pathogen.

Preventing disease problems is the best strategy, because once the symptoms are visible chemical rescue treatments aren’t recommended for home lawns.

Prevention means maintaining a healthy turf through proper mowing, watering and fertilizing. In particular:

  • Keep leaves dry. If you water, do it early in the morning so that the leaves dry quickly. Avoid watering at night.
  • Avoid overfertilizing. Too much fertilizer can stress plants and leave them vulnerable to diseases.
  • Plant disease-resistant grasses. Choose the right grass for the site.
  • Improve drainage. Low spots are particularly prone to disease.
  • Increase air flow. Lawn diseases are more likely where stagnant air collects. Clear underbrush to improve air circulation.

Winnipeg Lawn Services

Ph: 669-5296

Call today!!

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