Lawn management resources for communities

Asked September 27, 2019, 8:24 AM EDT

Do you have resources to help with lawn management planning in a condominium community in Washtenaw County? Members of our community are wanting decrease the use of pesticide and fertilizer and need official resources for Lakes and grounds committee. Thank you.

Washtenaw County Michigan lawns and turf

1 Response

Fertilizer is needed for healthy lawns which then require less herbicides and insecticides. Keeping a plant healthy in the first place as with any ground cover helps to shade out weeds. The state law already eliminates the use of phosphorus, a major water pollutant, in lawn fertilizer, unless a soil test shows the need for phosphorus. Beyond that you should not fertilize a lawn next to a river, lake or pond within 15 feet. Keeping grass mowed high 3 to 31/2) has been shown through research to lessen the chance of grub damage as it helps to build a bigger root system. Taller thicker grass also shades out weeds. The type of grasses determine the amount of fertilizer that should be used in a season. If it is all Kentucky bluegrass it needs a minimum of 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year, which is basically two applications. This is for a site where clippings are left in the grass which adds organic matter back to the turf along with nutrients. See the following publication on developing a lawn program: https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/AY/AY-22-W.pdf