How to Keep Your Grass Green

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Test Your Soil
  • Types of Grass in Calgary
  • A Water Schedule for New Sod
  • Mowing Consistently and at the Right Height
  • Aerate Before Fertilizing
  • Fertilization
  • Conclusion


Welcome to Project Landscape’s guide on “How to Keep Your Grass Green”. Nestled in the heart of Calgary, we know the value of a lush, verdant lawn. It’s not just a patch of grass; it’s a canvas that reflects the beauty and care of your home. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unveil the secrets to maintaining a green and healthy lawn, tailored to the unique challenges and climate of Calgary.

From the foundational steps of soil testing to understanding the best grass types for our area, we’ll cover it all. We know that a gorgeous lawn doesn’t happen by chance. It requires knowledge, dedication, and a little bit of love. Whether you’re installing new sod or nurturing an existing lawn, this guide will equip you with practical tips and expert advice.

Expect to learn about the importance of a proper watering schedule, the intricacies of mowing at the right height, the benefits of aerating and fertilizing, and much more. Each section is packed with “Tips from the Pros” to give you insider insights into achieving that perfect lawn.

Let’s embark on this green journey together and transform your outdoor space into a stunning, envy-inducing landscape. With Project Landscape by your side, a lush, healthy lawn is not just a dream – it’s a reality within reach.

Test Your Soil

To achieve the lush, green lawn of your dreams, the first crucial step is understanding the soil beneath your grass. Soil testing is an invaluable practice that gives insight into the health and condition of your lawn’s foundation, especially in Calgary’s diverse environmental conditions.

Why Soil Testing is Essential:

  • Nutrient Analysis: Soil tests reveal essential details like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels – key nutrients for healthy grass growth.
  • pH Level Check: The pH level determines how well your grass can absorb nutrients. Calgary’s soil can vary greatly in pH, and adjusting it can make a significant difference in your lawn’s health.

Conducting a Soil Test:

  • DIY Kits: These are readily available at local garden centers and are great for a basic understanding. They can measure pH levels and sometimes the more critical nutrients.
  • Professional Testing: For a more comprehensive analysis, consider sending a soil sample to a laboratory. They can provide detailed results and specific amendment recommendations.

Tips for Homeowners:

  • Sampling: When collecting a soil sample, ensure you get a good cross-section from different areas of your lawn.
  • Frequency: Test your soil every 2-3 years to monitor changes and make necessary adjustments.
  • Adjusting Soil pH: Depending on your soil test results, you may need to add lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower it.

Calgary-Specific Considerations:

  • Be aware of Calgary’s unique soil composition and climate conditions. The soil tends to be more alkaline, which can affect nutrient availability.

Understanding your soil is like having a roadmap for lawn care. It helps you make informed decisions about fertilizing, watering, and amending the soil, leading to a healthier, more vibrant lawn.

Types of Grass in Calgary

When it comes to lawn care in Calgary, selecting the right type of grass is pivotal. Calgary’s unique climate demands grass varieties that can thrive under its specific conditions. Understanding the characteristics of each type can help you make an informed decision for a lush, resilient lawn. Here are three popular types of grass in Calgary:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass:
    • Characteristics: Kentucky Bluegrass is renowned for its fine texture and deep green color. It’s known for its ability to recover quickly from damage and tolerates cold well.
    • Maintenance: Requires regular watering and fertilization. It’s ideal for homeowners who enjoy lawn care and are willing to invest time in maintaining their turf.
    • Best For: This grass type is great for creating a classic, manicured lawn that stands out in residential areas.
  • Fescue Grass:
    • Characteristics: Fescue Grass, particularly the fine fescue varieties, are known for their tolerance to shade and lower maintenance requirements. They have a deeper root system, making them more drought-tolerant.
    • Maintenance: Requires less frequent mowing and watering compared to Kentucky Bluegrass.
    • Best For: Perfect for homeowners seeking a low-maintenance lawn, especially in areas with partial shade.
  • Less Water Sod:
    • Characteristics: As the name suggests, this grass type requires less watering, making it an eco-friendly choice. It’s a blend of grasses selected for drought resistance and hardiness.
    • Maintenance: Needs minimal watering and can survive in tougher conditions.
    • Best For: Ideal for environmentally conscious homeowners and those looking to conserve water without sacrificing a green lawn.

Choosing the Right Grass for Your Lawn:

  • Consider Lifestyle and Maintenance: Your time and ability to maintain the lawn should influence your choice.
  • Local Climate and Soil: Consider Calgary’s climate and your specific soil type when selecting your grass.
  • Aesthetic Preference: Each grass type has a unique appearance, from the lush green of Kentucky Bluegrass to the hardy, natural look of Fescue Grass.

Selecting the right grass type is the first step towards a beautiful lawn in Calgary. With the right choice, your lawn can become a source of pride and a cornerstone of your home’s outdoor appeal.

A Water Schedule for New Sod

Proper watering is critical for the successful establishment of new sod, especially in Calgary’s climate. A well-planned watering schedule ensures your new grass gets the moisture it needs to root deeply and grow strong. Here’s a guide to help you water your new sod effectively:

Weeks 1-2: Establishing the Roots

  • Immediately After Laying Sod: Water thoroughly within the first 30 minutes after installation. This initial soak is vital for the sod to settle and roots to begin establishing.
  • Frequency: Water twice a day – early morning and late afternoon. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day to minimize evaporation.
  • Amount: Ensure the sod and the top 4 inches of soil are moist but not waterlogged. Typically, this requires about 15-20 minutes of watering per session.

Weeks 3-4: Reducing Frequency

  • Adjustment: Start reducing the frequency of watering to once a day. This encourages deeper root growth.
  • Monitoring: Check the moisture level of the soil; it should be damp up to 4 inches deep.

Week 5 Onwards: Establishing Routine

  • Transition: Gradually move to a regular watering routine, which in Calgary typically means 2-3 times a week, depending on weather conditions.
  • Deep Watering: Aim for deep and infrequent watering to promote a healthy root system. Each watering session should moisten the soil up to 6 inches deep.

Tips from the Pros:

  • Early Morning Watering: The best time to water is early in the morning, as it provides moisture throughout the day and reduces fungal growth.
  • Adjust According to Weather: Be mindful of rain and adjust your watering schedule accordingly to avoid overwatering.
  • Avoid Foot Traffic: Keep foot traffic to a minimum during the first few weeks to prevent compaction and give roots a chance to establish.

Chart for Weekly Watering Schedule:

1-2Twice daily15-20 mins
3-4Once daily20-25 mins
5 onwards2-3 times/week30 mins

Adhering to this watering schedule will help your new sod establish a robust root system, ensuring a lush, green lawn for years to come.

Mowing Consistently and at the Right Height

Mowing your lawn may seem straightforward, but when it comes to new sod, there’s a fine art to it. Mowing not only helps in maintaining the aesthetic appeal but also encourages healthier and denser grass growth. Here’s how to get it right:

Timing Your First Mow:

  • Wait for Establishment: It’s crucial to wait until your sod has rooted before you mow for the first time. This usually takes about 2-3 weeks.
  • Check the Height: Your sod should be about 3-4 inches tall before the first mow.

Setting the Right Mowing Height:

  • Ideal Height: For most grass types in Calgary, including Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue, maintaining a height of about 2.5 to 3 inches is ideal.
  • Adjust Your Mower: Set your lawn mower to the correct height. Mowing too short can stress the grass and make it more susceptible to disease and weeds.

Consistent Mowing Schedule:

  • Regular Mowing: Establish a regular mowing routine. During peak growing seasons, you might need to mow once a week.
  • Avoid Cutting Too Much: Never remove more than one-third of the grass blade length at a time. Cutting too much can shock the grass.

Tips from the Pros – ‘Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blades’:

  • Importance of Sharp Blades: Dull mower blades tear the grass, leading to a ragged edge that turns brown. Sharp blades make clean cuts, promoting healthier grass.
  • Regular Sharpening: Sharpen your blades at least once or twice a season to ensure a clean cut.

Additional Considerations:

  • Mowing Pattern: Change your mowing pattern each time to prevent ruts and ensure even growth.
  • Grasscycling: Consider leaving the grass clippings on the lawn as they decompose and add nutrients back to the soil.

Proper mowing is a critical component of lawn care, especially for new sod. By following these guidelines, you ensure your Calgary lawn remains healthy, green, and lush throughout the growing season.

Aerate Before Fertilizing

Aerating your lawn is an often-overlooked but essential step in lawn care, particularly when it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of fertilizing. In Calgary, where soil compaction can be an issue due to various weather conditions, aerating can significantly improve the health of your grass. Let’s dive into why aeration is important and how to do it effectively.

Understanding the Importance of Aeration:

  • Soil Compaction Relief: Aeration helps relieve soil compaction, allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil more easily and reach the grass roots.
  • Enhanced Root Growth: By breaking up compacted soil, aeration encourages deeper and stronger root growth, vital for a healthy lawn.

Best Practices for Aeration:

  • Timing is Key: The ideal time to aerate your lawn in Calgary is during the growing season, typically in the early spring or fall. This timing allows the grass to heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed.
  • Choosing the Right Tool: Core aerators are most effective as they remove small cores of soil from your lawn, rather than just puncturing the soil.

Aerating Before Fertilizing:

  • Why It Helps: Aerating before you fertilize is beneficial because it opens up the lawn, allowing the fertilizer to reach deeper into the soil and be more effective.
  • Application Post-Aeration: After aerating, apply fertilizer. The nutrients will be able to penetrate more deeply and reach the roots, where they’re most needed.

Tips from the Pros – ‘Aerate Annually’:

  • Regular Aeration: For the best results, make aerating a part of your annual lawn care routine. It keeps your soil healthy and ensures your fertilizing efforts are not in vain.
  • Hiring Professionals: If you’re unsure about doing it yourself, consider hiring professionals. They have the right equipment and expertise to aerate your lawn effectively.

Aerating before fertilizing is a simple yet powerful way to ensure your grass receives the full benefits of your lawn care efforts. Especially in Calgary’s variable climate, this practice can make a significant difference in the health and appearance of your lawn.


Fertilizing your lawn is like feeding it the right diet for optimal health and growth. In Calgary, with its unique climate and soil conditions, choosing and applying the right fertilizer can significantly impact your lawn’s vibrancy and resilience. Here’s a guide to effective lawn fertilization:

Choosing the Right Fertilizer:

  • Types of Fertilizers: There are various types of fertilizers available, each with different nutrient ratios. Look for a fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen for green growth, but also contains phosphorus and potassium.
  • Slow-Release Formulas: Consider slow-release or controlled-release fertilizers for longer-lasting effects. They gradually supply nutrients, reducing the risk of overfeeding and minimizing the need for frequent applications.

Application Tips:

  • Read Instructions: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  • Using a Spreader: For even distribution, use a broadcast or drop spreader. This ensures uniform coverage and prevents over-application in certain areas.
  • Frequency: In Calgary, fertilizing in late spring, early summer, and early fall aligns with the natural growth cycles of grass.

Fertilizing New Sod:

  • Initial Fertilization: New sod typically doesn’t require immediate fertilization as it often comes pre-fertilized.
  • First Application: Wait 4-6 weeks after laying new sod before applying fertilizer to avoid burning the young roots.

Tips from the Pros – ‘Less is More’:

  • Avoid Over Fertilizing: Over Fertilizing can lead to rapid, weak growth and increase susceptibility to pests and diseases. It’s better to under-fertilize than overdo it.
  • Soil Testing: Conducting a soil test can help you understand what nutrients your lawn might be lacking, leading to more targeted and effective fertilization.

Effective fertilization is about more than just greening up your lawn; it’s about creating the foundation for long-term health and beauty. By following these guidelines, homeowners in Calgary can ensure their lawns receive the right nutrients at the right time.


Maintaining a green, healthy lawn in Calgary doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right approach and a little care, you can keep your grass looking its best throughout the year. From testing your soil to understand its needs, choosing the right type of grass, following a proper water schedule for new sod, mowing at the correct height, aerating, and fertilizing – each step plays a crucial role in the health of your lawn.

At Project Landscape, we understand that every lawn is unique, and so are the needs of each homeowner. That’s why we’ve tailored this guide to provide you with practical, easy-to-follow advice that works specifically for Calgary’s climate and soil conditions. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a seasoned gardener, these tips can help you achieve the lush, vibrant lawn you desire.

Key Takeaways:

  • Soil Health is Vital: Regular soil testing can save you time and money in the long run.
  • Choose the Right Grass: Select a grass type that matches your lifestyle and Calgary’s climate.
  • Water Wisely: Efficient watering is crucial, especially in the first few weeks after laying new sod.
  • Mow for Success: Regular mowing at the right height keeps your lawn healthy and attractive.
  • Aerate and Fertilize: These essential steps ensure nutrients reach the roots of your grass.

Remember, lawn care is a journey, not a destination. It’s about understanding and responding to the changing needs of your grass throughout the seasons. At Project Landscape, we’re here to support you on this journey. If you have any questions or need assistance with your lawn care needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Let’s work together to keep your grass green and your outdoor space beautiful!

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