Lawn Care Tips

Tip 1:  Can you see the creek from your house?

If you live near a waterbody, provide a 50 foot natural buffer area between your mown lawn and the creek if possible.   What you do on your property has a big impact on the creek's health in terms of water quality, potential flooding, and wildlife habitat.   Natural vegetation provides habitat and helps filter pollutants and sediment from stormwater runoff. 

Tip 2:  Choose the right seed mix for our area and the right size lawn for you. 

The best seed mix for Michigan will contain Kentucky Bluegrass, fescues, and perennial rye-grass. Note that Kentucky Bluegrass needs sun.  To learn more, contact the County Extension Office at 734-971-1056.  Starting off with the right seed will ensure the most success in establishing your lawn, while minimizing time and effort! 

Save time and money by creating a smaller lawn area and using native trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers to landscape the rest of your yard.  To learn more, call Wild Ones, a non-profit organization providing information about native landscaping, at 734-763-0645.  Ann Arbor residents can also call the Natural Areas Preservation Division of Parks and Recreation at 996-3266. Smaller lawns and more native plants require less time and money to maintain! 

Tip 3:  Mow high. 

Keep your grass at least 3 inches high.  This will promote healthier roots and a healthier lawn. 

Tip 4:  Water wisely.

Water in the morning to minimize daytime evaporation.   Don't water when there's rain in the forecast.  Automatic shutoff kits are available for sprinkler systems.  These will delay watering for a few days after hard rain.

Tip 5:   Feed your lawn only what it needs.

Grass clippings are the best food for your lawn.  If you have higher expectations for your lawn, find out what and exactly how much it needs.  Have your soil tested for phosphorous;  Call the County Extension Office.

Be especially cautious when choosing fertilizer, if you choose to use it at all.  Waterways in the area have problems due to excess phosphorous in particular.   Fertilizers have 3 numbers (such as 10-10-10, or 34-3-4).  These numbers indicate the amount of nitrogen (1st number), phosphorous (2nd number) and potassium (3rd number) in the bag. Please be sure to choose the fertilizer with the lowest possible number for phosphorous. 

Slow release fertilizer will have either sulfer or  "WIN" in the list of ingredients.  These will last longer.

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