A verdant and thriving lawn is not just a green and lush lawn. It means necessary nutrients are continuously provided to achieve suitable conditions for grass to grow and be resilient to damage caused by pests, insects, and unwanted weeds. Lawn care entails proper knowledge as well as time and attention to ensure your yard can withstand extreme conditions.

Below are some of the most important terms in lawn care that every property owner should know. From the ins and outs of fertilization to the importance of aeration, understanding these terms will help you set your lawn apart from your neighbors' lawn.

Everything You Need to Know About Fertilizing Your Lawn in Michigan

A pile of red and white fertilizer on a lawn in Okemos, MI.

Fertilizer is essential to the foundation of a healthy lawn. The amount of fertilizer should be proportional to the size of your lawn to ensure your grass is not receiving too much or too little. Permanent damage to plants and altered soil composition can result from too much fertilizer, especially when using synthetic products.

To understand fertilization, you must understand the three crucial nutrients that fertilizers provide:

  • Nitrogen - Your grass needs nitrogen to perform various vital functions, such as creating chlorophyll, amino acids, and proteins.
  • Phosphorus - This nutrient is responsible for strong root development.
  • Potassium - Your grass is able to survive the cold winters and the hot summers of Michigan because of potassium. This nutrient also helps your grass fight against drought, disease, and pests.

Phosphorus Restrictions in Michigan

In January 2012, Michigan's Department of Agriculture & Rural Development introduced the Public Act 299 of 2010, which restricts the use of phosphorus fertilizers on residential and commercial lawns, athletic fields, and golf courses. The rule prohibits the application by both homeowners and commercial applicators.

Our team's fertilization services strictly adhere to these restrictions, which only allows the inclusion of phosphate in fertilization treatments under the following circumstances:

  • a soil test or plant tissue test shows the need for phosphorus
  • for newly established turf that uses seed or sod
  • on golf courses given that their managers accomplished an approved training program of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

Pre & Post-Emergent Weed Control Give Your Grass Much-Needed Nutrients

Yellow nutsedge weeds growing on a property in Haslett, MI.

Weed growth in your lawn will undoubtedly affect the development of your grass and plants as it will result in competition for much-needed nutrients, water, and sunlight. Post and pre-emergent weed control and management strategies are some great ways to control weed growth.

Our team implements a weed control program that utilizes both post and pre-emergent solutions to treat weeds. Pre-emergent herbicides are used before weeds appear on the soil surface, while post-emergent herbicides are applied when shoots have already sprouted above the ground.

One type of weed that we commonly see in the East Lansing area is yellow nutsedge. This weed has the ability to survive in various conditions, making it tough to fight off. Hiring a professional team like ours will help you not only remove yellow nutsedge from your lawn but ensure that it doesn't grow back.

What is core aeration and why does your lawn need it?

Close up of a core aeration machine in action in East Lansing, MI.

Taking care of your lawn also means letting your soil breathe. Core aeration is the process of perforating the soil so essential nutrients, water, and air can have easier access to your roots, thus stimulating root growth for a sturdy lawn.

One of the primary benefits of aerating your lawn is relieving soil compaction, which is a very common problem. Wet soils are more prone to compacted soil, and with Michigan's fairly distributed annual precipitation, aeration becomes much more critical. We recommend aerating your lawn once per year.

The best time to have your lawn aerated is during the fall season.

Grubs are beetle larvae that feed on the roots of your grass.

Grubs in soil on a property in Dewitt, MI.

Grubs are the larvae of several beetle species. Once hatched, grubs will begin to search for food via the roots of your grass. As grubs make their way through your lawn, your roots will no longer be able to provide essential nutrients to your grass blades, thus resulting in dead patches of grass. If there are irregular patches of dry grass in your lawn, we recommend reaching out to a professional team like ours that performs pest control to check if grubs are indeed the issue.

Other signs of a grub infestation include:

  • Spongy turf - Since your roots are no longer anchoring your grass to your soil, your lawn will begin to feel a little "spongy" under your feet.
  • Carpet-like grass - If you pull up on your grass blades and they lift automatically and can roll up like a carpet, this is a tell-tale sign that your lawn has a grub infestation.

Natural yard debris includes waste like leaves, branches, and twigs.

Natural yard debris is unavoidable. Wet leaves, branches, and twigs are just a few examples of debris that make your lawn look messy. Professional yard cleanups are the best way to tidy up your lawn and look out for the health of your grass. Our cleanup services are not restricted to merely removing debris as they also include reshaping landscape beds, tree and bush trimming, and re-mulching. You can prepare your lawn for the upcoming season with both our fall and spring cleanup services.

Call us today to sign up for our lawn care services including fertilization, yard cleanups, weed control, and more!

Your lawn deserves only the best quality care there is. From yard cleanups to fertilization treatments to weed control, our accomplished professionals here at Outdoor Expressions Landscaping are ready to take on the job. Our award-winning services are available to properties in East Lansing, Okemos, Haslett, MI and nearby areas.

We are always prepared to respond to your inquiries. Call us today at (517) 333-7999 for a quote.