Depending on the task you are tackling, the equipment you’ll need to use may require a rental or it may be as simple as heading to your garden shed. In either case you need to know how to properly carry out the task, and what equipment needs to be used.
What lawn care equipment do you need for each season, and how frequently should they be used? Both of these common questions will be addressed, with links to the equipment you’ll need throughout each season.
In the spring, your goal in caring for your lawn is to revive it from the dormancy of winter and cleaning up after the winter freeze. To begin, when the snow melts give your grass a light hand rake. This will diminish the thatch layer, not too much but enough to allow your grass to breathe. A thin layer of thatch is beneficial for a lawn because it reduces the harm of foot traffic on your lawn.
At this time, in the very beginning of the season, garden beds, hedges, and around your yard should be cleared of twigs, leaves and anything else deposited there since the winter thaw. For this, and all other gardening projects, you’ll need gardening gloves.
When your yard has undergone a spring clean up, it’s time to start with your fertilizer and weed control applications. If you’ve seen the Yard Dawgs cost comparison, you’ll know that it’s much more efficient and cost effective to book with a trusted lawn care company. So, the equipment for this aspect of spring lawn care is non-existent.
With the proper care, your grass should be beginning to grow. Regular watering and mowing are crucial. Some lawn mowers have a bagging feature that collects the grass clippings as your lawn gets cut. Others chop the grass and return the clippings to the lawn. This feature is a good idea because the grass will recycle its nutrients and diminish the need to over fertilize. If a lawn mower has a bagging feature, it's easy enough to take the bag off during your mows.
A string trimmer is a maneuverable tool that allows for trimming clean edges around your lawn. Trimming should be completed after you mow your lawn. Some people use shears, but that takes a considerable amount of time if it’s completed properly. If you don’t want your weekly mow to be so time consuming, go with a battery-operated trimmer.
During this season watering your lawn is crucial. The grass that grows in Canada is a cool season grass which, among other things, means its growth periods are in the fall and early spring. During periods of drought and extreme heat, the grass in your lawn will suffer. To ensure the success of your lawn you want the soil your grass lives in to stay moist. This means watering your lawn regularly 1-inch per week and increasing the frequency during periods of extreme heat. (Always adhering to water bans. Although you want to care for your lawn, grass is resilient, and it will bounce back).
In June, July, and August you should raise the level of your lawn mower. Cutting less of the blade during this season is better for your lawn in general. A taller plant will retain more water and the blades will shade the soil and cool it.
During the summer, you should consider renting a pressure washer to clean decks, house siding, outdoor windows, hard scraping, etc. It is the most efficient way to clean the exterior of your home. Pressure washing can occur between March and October. As it gets later in the year, however, you’ll have to be cautious of freezing. Take care when you complete this task because pressure washing can cause damage, to things such as concrete.
Looking forward to the spring, you’ll want to keep leaves from decomposing over the winter so maintain regular raking throughout the fall. After the wear and tear of summer the bare spots in your lawn should be repaired through over seeding.
Clean the gutters out before the snow arrives. It’s important that the water can flow freely during melting periods.
It’s also during fall that you’ll want to aerate your lawn. This coupled with over seeding is incredibly beneficial for your lawn’s success in spring. Seeding in autumn means less weeds to deal with in spring. Water during the first couple weeks to encourage quick germination. Cool season grass responds best to aeration in fall. The grass recovers best during the cool temperature of these months. Cores of soil are taken out of the lawn, allowing the roots of your grass to have better access to water, nutrients, and air. The plugs taken out are left on top of the lawn to recycle the nutrients back into the soil.
Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn in Canada. Cool season grasses respond well to feeding in September, October and sometimes in November. It helps the grass green up in spring. At Yard Dawgs we use a high-quality slow-release fertilizer that will, over the course of the winter months, feed your lawn with nutrients.
During the winter, the lawn care is minimal. The important part is preparing your lawn properly for the winter freeze. You’re putting your lawn to bed, so it should go into its dormant stage well prepared. Before snow covers your grass, you’ll want to do one last mow. In general, the longer the leaf, the deeper the root will grow. However, if it grows too long it’ll become matted and encourage disease and mold. An alternative to raking all the leaves is to pulverize them with the lawn mower and let them decompose on your grass. Again, too much left on the lawn will adversely affect it. However, when the snow comes there are two things you should have in your garage: a snow shovel for keeping your driveways and sidewalks clear.
As well as a salt spreader to ensure your walks are safe throughout the icy conditions of winter. The Scotts Spreader also works to distribute fertilizer in the spring if you prefer the DIY route.
So, to care for your lawn all year long, there are many tools you'll need to buy. Although it seems overwhelming to see the list of equipment, most of these will be a one time purchase and will last you for years. In addition, most of this equipment could most likely be found in a neighbours garage. I'd suggest if it's not in the budget, you'll be able to find someone to lend you the equipment you need. Lawn care equipment is critical for keeping your lawn at peak performance, so it should be top of mind.
Caring for your lawn requires a consistent effort, but the time it takes is rather minimal if you're doing it well regularly. If you book with a lawn care company, you don't have to worry about DIY weed control or fertilizer burn your lawn or destroying your grass. Let a certified company take care of you.