Yard Care

Asked April 11, 2018, 1:56 PM EDT

I am looking for your research based recommended approach of fertilizing and weed killing for my home lawn in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Fertilizing companies, (some of them are MSU graduates) are quoting 6 applications that sounds excessive, Can you provide some guidance, or send me a link of MSU recommendations on this subject. Thx.

Oakland County Michigan lawn fertilizer

1 Response

Hello,

Lawn fertilizer can be divided into 2 to 5 or even 6 applications per season. The amount of each application should be smaller when more frequently applied. I expect this is what your lawn service does, and perhaps adds crabgrass control and pest control as options. The service should be able to tell you how much Nitrogen and Potassium they are putting down in each application. The summer application should be lower in nitrogen than spring or fall.

Having a soil test done tells you how much Potassium is needed, and tells you your soil type, pH, and organic matter. An MSU test kit that includes postage is available for $25, and the results are good for 3 years. If you are interested in doing this test you can order one at the website

www.msusoiltest.com or your county Extension office may stock them.

Nitrogen is so mobile in the soil that measuring it with a test isn’t done for home turf or gardens. Instead, research shows that 2-5 lbs N per year is recommended depending on the type lawn you want( see link below discussing fertilizer).

Without a test, you can follow the general schedule in this article—-

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/fertilizing-home-lawns-to-protect-water-quality

Here are resources for you, that will discuss details of lawn care and weeds and pests.

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/low_maintenance_lawns_in_the_midwest

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/crabgrass-control-in-home-lawns

https://www.canr.msu.edu/home_lawns/

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/smart_lawn_care_to_protect_pollinators

https://www.canr.msu.edu/home_lawns/resources

Other informative Extensions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois will have info on cool-season turf, should you want to compare the research. Thanks for using AaE.