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Lawn & Garden
In the summer, water use in Barrie increases by as much as 40 per cent. Most of this increase is from outdoor water uses, especially lawn watering, and much of this water is wasted. The following information will help you maintain a green lawn with relatively low effort and only moderate watering.
Wise Water Practices for Your Lawn
- A healthy lawn requires only about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week including rainfall to remain healthy.
- Too much watering or fertilizer can lead to shallow roots and a lawn unable to cope with droughts.
- Lawn watering regulations and restrictions are set out in our Regulatory By-laws please review to ensure compliance with those regulations.
- The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning before the temperature gets too high.
- Rain barrels are a great outdoor water saving device. They save you money by collecting the free rainwater that falls from the sky. The collected water is useful for watering flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.
- Remember to only water when your lawn needs it and to water on the appropriate day and time.
Lawn Care and Maintenance
- Keeping a lawn healthy is a key component to allowing it to withstand hot dry spells in the summer.
- Too much fertilizer can cause your lawn to grow too fast and require more water and maintenance.
- Use natural fertilizers that contain insoluble nitrogen, which is not affected by rainfall. These fertilizers are safer to use and not as likely to burn your lawn.
- Your lawn should be fertilized twice a year, in fall and spring. Fertilizing in fall keeps your lawn healthy through its dormant winter period by building up its root system. The second application in spring stimulates blade growth.
Cutting and Aerating
- When you cut your grass ensure the grass is dry and leave it at least 6 cm (2 inches) long. The longer grass will protect the roots from the sun and will reduce moisture evaporation from the soil.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn. Clippings provide valuable nutrients to the lawn and aid in moisture retention, thus reducing the need for watering.
- Aerating your lawn is another way to help keep it healthy. Aerating cuts small holes in the ground to allow air, water and fertilizer to reach the roots.
- The small cores that are left-over after aerating should be left on the lawn. The micro-organisms in the cores help decay dead grass and allow your lawn to absorb more moisture.
Muskoka Gardens is the term the City of Barrie uses to promote the use of native and low-water use plants that thrive in our climate. Click here to learn more about Muskoka Gardens and check out our suggested plant list.