Beautiful Lawn

Asked January 31, 2019, 11:58 AM EST

I want a beautiful lawn in 2019. I have Kentucky Bluegrass. Are there effective fertilizers and weed control solutions that will not harm the environment? What are they and what is a good schedule for application?
How frequently should I water my lawn?
Thanks in advance . .

Wayne County Michigan lawn care

1 Response

Hello,

Now is an excellent time to get educated on the latest in lawn care while we are inside and waiting for spring!

The MSU Home Lawn Care site has articles based on research and will address your questions:

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

Specifically to your questions-

Weed management- The least harmful to the environment is to first gain control of the weeds, and then by growing a thick healthy lawn, weeds do not get started again.

Gaining control with the least harm will consist of hand weeding out tough established perennials like dandelions, violets, and thistles, and then using corn gluten meal to help control annuals like crabgrass. Many folks who have lots of weeds to eradicate use weed killers to gain control, and then by growing a thick healthy lawn have very few weed problems going forward.

A thick healthy lawn is achieved by:

-having a location that receives at least 6, and better to have 8 hours or more, of sun.

-mowing it no shorter than 3 inches tall

-watering so that it receives 1 inch of water( including rainfall) divided across 3-4 waterings per week- water 1 and 1/2 inches per week total (again divided up across 3-5 times per week) during extended hot weather like we have in July and August.

-fertilizing 3-4 times per year based on the recommendations of a soil test.(see link below for schedule)

Fertilizer will not harm the environment when it is applied correctly and at the recommended rate. A soil test is used to determine what that rate should be. Over fertilizing and fertilizing when it can be washed away into the sewers or nearby lakes/streams is where the harmful aspect comes in. Organic fertilizers are available, and mulching the grass clippings into the lawn when mowing, are eco-friendly techniques, too.

Here are related links to these topics-

https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/soil_test_kit_self-mailer

https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/fertilizing-home-lawns-to-protect-water-quality

https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-4031

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/corn_gluten_acts_an_alternative_organic_weed_control

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/when_should_i_fertilize_my_lawn_during_spring

https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/irrigation_practices_to_preserve_water_quality_(e0009).pdf

This is lots to read through and absorb! But once you know the basics of water, mowing and fertilizing you can use the knowledge to your advantage. Please write again if you have more questions. Thank you.