Lawn grass

Choosing the Right Grass Type for Your Toronto Lawn

Grass varieties have differing requirements based on species. Discover what grows best in Toronto’s soil conditions and climate in this article.

Tips for Choosing the Right Grass Type for Your Toronto Lawn

Planting a suitable grass variety can mean the difference between a constant struggle to keep the lawn lush and green and an easy-going turf that stays beautiful with minimal effort. But with all the choices, how do you determine which type of grass is best for your location?

How to Choose the Right Grass Type

Consider the Climate

Climatic conditions affect the growth and performance of lawns. Therefore, climate should be one of the first things to consider when choosing a grass variety.

Toronto has a continental climate, which is why the area experiences cold winters and long-lasting snow. However, Lake Ontario modifies the temperature considerably; the winter temperature hovers below or just above freezing most of the time. But there are very cold outbursts at times, and the area typically gets hammered with several feet of snow in winter. On the other hand, summers are warm and often highly humid.

If you’ve already tried gardening or growing a lawn in Toronto, you know the climate makes it challenging to keep plants or grass lush and healthy during the warmer seasons. It may even seem impossible at times.

But there’s no need to be discouraged! Fortunately, some grass varieties do just fine in the Toronto climate, as proven by many beautiful lawns in the area. The key is finding and planting a suitable grass type and taking care of it the right way.

Learn About Maintenance Requirements

A lush, green lawn does not grow overnight. You must regularly mow, fertilize, water, and aerate to keep the lawn in pristine condition. Lawn care can be a lot of work, so it’s best to consider the maintenance requirements when selecting a grass type. Some varieties grow well with little intervention, while others require frequent attention.

Determine how much time, money, and effort you’re willing to spend maintaining your lawn. You should also research the grass’ maintenance requirements, like watering and mowing frequency. Learn about the pest and disease tolerance of each variety as well.

Take Soil Quality Into Account

Another variable to consider when choosing a grass type for your Toronto lawn is the soil type and quality. Soil comes in various types, such as sandy, clay, silty, and loamy. Identifying the soil type in your backyard will make it easier to determine the type of grass that will grow easily.

For example, perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass grow better in fertile, well-drained soil. They don’t do well in sandy soil without enough water and fertilizer. On the other hand, Canadian bluegrass thrives even in less-than-ideal soil.

Warm-Season vs. Cool-Season Grasses: What Kind of Grass Is Best for Toronto?

Lawn grasses are divided into two categories: warm-season and cool-season. Their names give away their behaviors and preferences. Warm-season grasses require plenty of sunlight, which is why they thrive in summer and go dormant in winter. In contrast, cool-season grasses grow in cold months and enter dormancy in the summer.

Types of Warm-Season Grass for Toronto Lawns

In Toronto, the climate doesn’t favor warm-season grasses. But if you want that type of grass, Bermuda grass can be a good option. It is drought- and foot-traffic-tolerant and will make a beautiful, green lawn in the summer. But since the hot season doesn’t last long in Toronto, it’s best to mix warm-season and cool-season grass varieties so the lawn can tolerate a wide range of temperatures.

Cool-Season Grasses Recommended for Toronto Lawns

Cool-season grasses’ preference for lower temperatures makes them ideal for the Toronto climate. However, it’s important to remember that cool-season grasses still have differences when it comes to growth habits, maintenance requirements, and other qualities. Understanding the traits of cool-season grasses will make it easier to find the best variety.

Cool-season grasses come in many types. The primary options for lawns in Canada are Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Kentucky bluegrass exhibits a dark green color and medium-fine texture. It also makes a uniform lawn that can tolerate low temperatures and foot traffic.

On the other hand, tall fescue is the most heat-tolerant of all the cool-season grass varieties. It’s also low-maintenance and somewhat prone to disease and infestation, making it a popular option for playing fields and public areas. However, it isn’t as winter-hardy as Kentucky bluegrass.

If you’re having difficulty picking a grass variety for your Toronto lawn, you can always seek assistance from an expert in lawn care near you. Choose a local lawn professional to ensure they understand the climate and other considerations when growing lawns in the area.

Factors to Consider Before Planting New Grass in Your Lawn

Are you ready to plant new grass on your lawn? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Prepare the soil: Ensure the soil contains enough phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients by conducting soil tests and making all necessary amendments.
  • Avoid compacted soil: Compacted soil prevents water and fertilizer from seeping through and reaching the grassroots.
  • Ensure the seed comes in contact with the soil: The newly germinated seeds have shallow and tiny roots and will likely die quickly if they don’t reach the soil.
  • Set a schedule: The best time to establish a lawn from seed in Ontario is in late summer and early fall. During this period, temperature and soil moisture are optimal for seed germination and establishment.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Planting and Maintaining a Toronto Lawn

Even simple mistakes can jeopardize your new lawn, resulting in wasted time and effort. Do it right the first time by learning from common mistakes when planting grass seed.

One common mistake when planting grass seed is not dethatching the lawn. If you spread grass without removing dead or dried grass, the seeds won’t come in contact with soil and grow. Another mistake is spreading more or fewer seeds than necessary. Doing so only results in wasted seeds and thin and sparse lawns, respectively.

Planting seeds at the wrong time is also a common mistake. Some may plant seeds immediately after heavy rain, but the excess moisture will only encourage disease. Others spread grass seeds while it’s raining, but that will only result in seeds getting washed away.

In terms of lawn care in Toronto, some common mistakes include mowing too short and using lawnmowers with dull blades. Some homeowners try to trim the grass shorter to save time and energy. But over-mowing damages the grass. On the other hand, using dull blades leaves the lawn more susceptible to pests and disease.

Aside from that, you should avoid the common mistake of watering at the wrong time. It should be done early in the morning before it gets too hot so the water won’t immediately evaporate.

Use Professional Lawn Care Services to Achieve a Beautiful Lawn

From choosing grass seeds that suit your location to keeping the grass healthy and lush, LawnMart can do it all. LawnMart is your trusted local lawn care company in the greater Toronto area. We offer comprehensive lawn care services to businesses and homeowners. Our experts are trained and experienced in organic lawn care, so rest assured your lawn is in the right hands.

Get a free quote today. Contact our team to learn more about our lawn care services in Toronto and the best grass type for your location.

Michael Schäfer

President – LawnMart Inc.

Years of Experience: 31 Years

  • Land Class 1 and 3 Licenses Since 1993
  • Pest Control Operator License Since 1995
  • PIC Accredited Pest Technician Examiner Since 2004
  • Biting Flies Control License Since 2020

Michael Schäfer is President and Founder of LawnMart Inc. After training privately under Dr. Larry Whiddell of Ohio State University, he became a Lawn Technician at Barefoot Grass Lawn Services (1993) and leveled up to Tree/Shrub Care Manager before taking over all Canadian operations as Area Manager. In 1996, Michael founded LawnMart Inc., which has since grown into a multi-award-winning company that cares for thousands of lawns in the Golden Horseshoe area.