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Rising Temperatures, Rising Lawns: Nurturing Your Toronto Grass in Early Spring

The temperature will begin to rise as we enter spring, and your lawn will wake up from its winter slumber. In this guide, we’ll discuss things you can do to help your Toronto grass thrive as the weather gets warmer.

How to Maintain Your Lawn in Spring

Impact of Rising Temperatures on Lawns

Have you ever wondered why plants start growing in spring? It’s usually not just because the snow has melted but also because the temperature has reached the ideal range for growth.

Various grass types grow at different rates and at different temperatures. For cool-season grasses, the optimum soil temperature range is between 18 to 24 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, warm-season grasses grow best when the ground temperature reaches 27 to 35 degrees Celsius.

Toronto’s temperature in early spring reaches the ideal range for the growth of some grass types. That’s why it’s necessary to prepare and support your lawn at this time of the year, so the grass grows better and develops stronger roots that can endure the harsh temperatures of the coming seasons.

Early Spring Lawn Care Tips for Toronto

Lawns usually appear pretty rough when you see them for the first time in early spring. The good news is that a little TLC can help your turf look like its old self again (or even better). A few early spring lawn care tips to help you get started include:

  1. Shovel or break up snow piles – Removing snow as soon as possible will enable your lawn to green up faster. Therefore, you should shovel or break up snow piles along your driveway and walkways. You may be tempted to use de-icing salts because they melt ice faster. However, think twice before using them, as these products can harm your lawn.
  2. Clean up – Prepare your lawn for growth by removing leaves, dead grass, and debris that have built up over the winter.
  3. Assess and address winter damage – It’s common for lawns to suffer winter damage, like snow mold diseases, salt damage, and rodent tunneling. So, assess your lawn for winter damage after the snow melts, and address issues immediately.
  4. Keep weeds in check – Grass grows in spring, and so do unwanted plants on your lawn. Avoid a weed infestation by growing a healthy lawn and keeping weeds under control.
  5. Have your soil tested – If you haven’t had your lawn soil tested for years, now is the time to do so. A soil test result will give you valuable information, like the soil’s nutrient content, pH level, and necessary amendments.

Choosing the Right Grass Varieties

Whether you want to start a new lawn or need to re-seed some damaged parts, choose the right grass variety. The grass type that suits your location and requirements is generally easier to grow and maintain.

Not all grass types thrive in Toronto. You can find out what actually grows best in your area by asking your local lawn care company in Toronto or researching reputable websites. Aside from location, factors like the amount of shade the lawn receives, the number of trees growing near the turf, and soil characteristics like drainage and pH level will determine what grass variety will thrive in your yard.

Watering Strategies for Warmer Seasons

Now that winter is over, you need to think about lawn irrigation as well. It’s necessary to give the grass enough water at the right time. The best time for watering is early morning before the weather gets hot enough to cause liquid to evaporate quickly. We recommend watering lawns once per week for four hours per zone.

Watering can be tedious, so consider installing an irrigation system. These days, there are plenty of choices, and some systems are even smart enough to know when to water your lawn. With smart irrigation systems, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to water the grass.

Fertilization Techniques in Early Spring

Fertilizers provide the nutrients your lawn needs. If you want to boost plant growth, a high-nitrogen fertilizer will likely do the trick. Lawns love nitrogen, but don’t forget about other essential nutrients. You can find out what nutrients the soil lacks by performing a soil test.

It’s also crucial to know when to fertilize your Toronto lawn in the spring. A good time to apply a slow-release fertilizer would be in the early spring, from the middle to the end of April. This is when the soil is starting to warm up and plants are beginning to grow. You should apply the next batch around six weeks later.

To get a consistently green lawn, apply lawn fertilizer evenly. Use a drop-type spreader and go across the lawn in a clockwise direction. After fertilizing your lawn, make sure to give it enough water.

Weed and Pest Management in Warmer Weather

A healthy lawn is the best defense against weed and pest invasion. However, turf is usually not dense and green in early spring, making it susceptible to weed and pest infestation. At this time, you must rely on other weed and pest management practices.

You can use a natural pre-emergent herbicide in early spring to suppress grassy weeds before seeds germinate. For established weeds in your lawn, you can use natural post-emergent herbicides to deal with them. Moreover, you can try raking the weeds, smothering them with a plastic cover, or hand-pulling them.

In the case of pest infestations, it’s best to let lawn care Toronto professionals control and manage their population. Using insecticides to deal with spring pests can hurt your lawn. Pros know the best strategies to eliminate unwanted insects and animals without harming the grass and the environment. But you can also use organic solutions like nematodes, diatomaceous earth, sulfur, and neem oil for pest control. Aside from that, you can plant grasses that contain endophytes, like perennial ryegrass and tall fescue.

However, continue your routine inspection of the lawn’s stems, leaves, thatch, soil, and roots because some pest problems are difficult to detect.

Lawn Mowing Practices for Early Spring

Mowing affects the lawn’s density, consistency, and visual appeal, and it’s a necessary part of lawn care in Toronto. This spring, you’ll be making the first grass cut of the year. A few preparations will help ensure you cut the grass properly the first time.

First, tidy up all the debris lying around because it can make mowing difficult and dangerous. Also, make sure the mower is in excellent condition and has sharp blades. To avoid overstressing the grass, set your mower blade high, about three inches, and never remove more than a third of the blade. Mow when your lawn is dry, which is usually in the afternoon when the morning dew is gone.

We recommend bagging grass clippings for a cleaner appearance and better curb appeal. Additionally, each time you mow your lawn, cut it in a different direction than the previous time so your grass won’t lean one way over time.

Get Professional Spring Lawn Care

Lawn care in the early spring is challenging because you have to clean up the mess left over from the winter. However, delaying lawn care during the early spring is not a good idea, as it is also a crucial time for annual lawn development. The good news is that you don’t have to handle lawn care alone.

At LawnMart, we offer professional spring lawn care services in Toronto that you can count on. Our six-step process will keep your lawn in tip-top shape, and not just in spring. Contact us today to find out how our team of experts can ensure your Toronto lawn is vibrant, green, and healthy all year long.

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.