Lawn Care in Grand Rapids
Here in Michigan, it is hard to keep a great lawn year-round.. We have four very distinct seasons, each with their own quirks, and our grass can really take a beating. Fortunately, there are several ways to make lawn care in Grand Rapids a lot easier.
Believe it or not, what you do in the winter has a huge impact on the quality of your lawn for the rest of the year. So, rather than start with one of the more visible seasons, let’s take a quick look at how to prepare your yard for springtime beauty.
Before the first frost hits, apply a good fertilizer to your lawn. This is important – many experts consider this the first feed of the new year! This is because storing those nutrients over the winter will give your lawn a great head start when the Michigan snow starts melting.
Secondly, when you’re ready for your final lawn mow of the season, cut your grass low. This will keep your grass strong, and reduce snow damage and disease on your lawn.
Third, aerate your lawn before the snow sets in. This leads to stronger roots, better water penetration, and healthier turf.
And finally, clear off your lawn before the snow gets thick. Heavy branches, leaf piles, and even toys can create dead spots that are very hard to deal with later.
2. Spring Lawn Care
When the snow finally melts and you have a good, dry day, start by lightly raking your lawn. Work to remove old thatch, break up matted areas, and clear old leaves. This allows good nutrients and sunlight to come through and feed your lawn. Remember to keep your raking light… avoid pulling up the grass by the roots!
Before dandelion season starts, consider adding a pre-emergent weed killer to your lawn. This prevents weeds from getting out of control later. If you don’t have the time to manage this, there are a number of great lawn care services in Grand Rapids that can do it at a reasonable cost.
If you have any bare spots, reseed these areas now to give them a good head start. In addition, spring is a key time to fertilize your lawn. This will allow your grass to regain a lot of the nutrients it lost during that cold Michigan winter! Just try not to over-do it, because too much fertilizer can dry out your lawn.
Finally, when it’s time to mow, aim for 2.5-3.5 inches. This is a great middle ground to both protect the ground and give your lawn enough air to breathe. And you can leave your grass clippings right on the lawn… it adds a little fertilizer, and does not add to your thatch.
3. Summer Lawn Care
Summer lawn care in Grand Rapids is all about keeping your yard beautiful during the hottest months. There are several key things to remember.
First, either keep your lawn looking healthy throughout the season by watering it regularly and deeply, or don’t water it at all. Since lawns often grow dormant during the hot summer months, excessively watering a brown lawn won’t do you much good. If you choose to water your lawn, do so in the morning or early afternoon for best results. Your lawn will usually need between 1 and 1.5 inches of water a week, either from rain or watering, to stay green.
Also, avoid fertilizing your lawn in the summer, unless you are expecting heavy and extended rains. Applying fertilizer during hot, dry times can ‘burn’ your lawn, and damage it for future years.
In Grand Rapids, you can mow your lawn to about 3 inches in the summer and expect good results. This helps protect the roots from the sun, and slows the drying-out process.
Fall may be the most important season for lawn care in Grand Rapids. Once the weather cools back down, it’s time for your early fall fertilization. This helps replace the nutrients lost in the hot summer months.
In addition, it’s time to take care of any brown or dead areas. If the spots are baseball sized or less, they can likely recover on their own. However, larger spots need more care. Lightly rake off the dead area, and reseed and aerate the affected areas. Remember, seed to soil contact is important!
Fall is also the best time for herbicide application, because weeds struggle to survive the winter.
Keep mowing your lawn in the fall, but don’t cut your lawn short until the very last cut of the season. That way, you will give your grass the best chance to store up good nutrients before the Michigan winter hits.
As one final tip, keep your lawn mower blade sharp. This will allow it to cut your lawn, rather than tear the grass out by the roots. With good mower maintenance, you will have thicker, fuller grass.
As always, feel free to contact us at Honeybee Homes at (616) 606-3390 for additional help regarding your home.