The Best Time To Apply Fall Fertilizer in Canton, Michigan

If the stress of this summer resulted in your lawn thinning or developing dead spots,  you’re probably wondering if there is something you can do. Before winter gets here, you’ll need something to encourage your grass to reestablish itself. A fall fertilizer application can help. 

Applying fertilizer in the fall is a vital part of any year-long lawn care program. Fall fertilizer is not about weed and feed. It’s about providing your outdoor space with the nutrients it needs to thrive during the winter months. The cool-season grasses that we see in Michigan (such as bluegrasses, fescues, and ryegrasses) will benefit most when you apply fertilizer in autumn.

So, let’s find out when you should apply fall lawn fertilizer in Canton, MI, and the surrounding areas. 

Why Fertilize Your Lawn In The Fall?

The theory behind late fall nitrogen fertilization of cool-season grasses is very simple. Apply low rates of N fertilizer (40 to 50 lbs/thousand square feet) in the late fall. At this time, cool temperatures are reducing top growth, but root growth is still active.

The N is used to “set up the plant” for winter and for healthy early spring growth. Not only does it enhance root growth aid in the uptake of water and nutrients, but carbohydrate buildup in the stem bases also promotes winter survival and spring regrowth.

When To Apply Fall Fertilizer

The end of October or early November is essential. The exact timing to fertilize varies based on weather conditions and climate zone; however, the final fertilizer application should be done sometime in November (at the very latest) in most regions.

An ideal fall fertilizer blend has nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium (N:P: K) ratio of 24-4-12 with isobutylidene diurea (IBDU). In this formulation, a small amount of nitrogen is immediately available to the grass blades, while the rest is a slow-release nitrogen form that takes longer to break down, which provides an extended feeding to the grass.  

The push of phosphorus will stimulate root growth through November and even into early December. By helping roots grow before winter sets in, you’re ensuring that your lawn will green up quicker in the spring. They’ll spread farther and grow deeper in the ground as a result. 

That’s because of the carbohydrates being produced in leaves and stored in the root system. And a stronger root system helps to provide your lawn with better tolerance to heat and drought stress, and healthy turf is also better able to withstand insect and disease problems.

Let Lush Lawn Help You

To get the rich, green grass you desire each spring, remember that ​fall fertilization holds the key. Lawns fertilized in fall have better green color in winter than those without fertilizer. Lush Lawn can provide you with everything you need to ensure your lawn comes back thriving each spring.

Our fall lawn care program provides a comprehensive 7-step package that takes care of everything from fertilizing to core aeration (which helps if you’re dealing with soil compaction), winterizing, and much more. Contact us today.

Are Leaves Good For Grass?

 If you’re asking yourself “Are leaves good for grass?” chances are, you don’t feel like raking them. The short answer to the question is “Yes.” Leaves are good for your grass, but you probably shouldn’t just ditch clearing them altogether. 

Leaves will decompose, but if you leave them on your lawn and they begin to pile up, they can actually do more harm than good. That’s because when they get wet (from rain or even snow)  wet leaves smother and kill the grass. But there are a number of different ways to approach your leaf harvest. And depending on your particular situation, it doesn’t always involve raking.

So, let’s take a look at why you should avoid raking leaves and talk about a couple of alternatives (composting and mulching) that will help your lawn to thrive.

Why Mulch Or Compost Leaves?

You should compost or mulch your leaf litter to keep them out of landfills. Michigan law requires all yard waste to be composted – it may not be disposed of in a regular landfill.  This started in 1995 because of the many problems caused by yard clippings in landfills. This led to the banning of yard waste from Michigan landfills. leaves good for grass

Why? According to EPA data, yard trimmings, which include leaves, can create as much as 34 million tons of waste each year, which is about 13% of all waste generated. The majority of it comes from composted or mulched in-state programs, but according to the EPA, as much as 11 million tons can still end up in landfills. This accounts for just under 8% of all waste in landfills.

Try Composting

Composting involves scooping leaves into a pile or containing them in a bin and leaving them to naturally decompose.leaves good for grass

It provides rich fertilizer for gardens and landscape plants. You can buy Bins or easily make one out of low-cost materials. You can add veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells, which also helps to cut down on your kitchen waste. Just don’t add items like meat scraps that can smell bad and attract pests. 

You can learn more about composting with this handy info sheet.

Mulching

If a compost pile isn’t ideal—try this. You can also use a lawnmower to shred leaves and compost them in a place where they will fertilize the grass. All you do is roll your mulching mower over the fallen leaves. Dried leaves are easier to mulch than wet ones, but mulching leaves (and your grass) and leaving them to decompose can become an important part of your lawn care regimen.leaves good for grass

Mulched leaves keep the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The nutrients provided by mulching also reduce the amount and expense of fertilizer needed to achieve green-up in the spring. You can also mulch perennial flower beds with shredded leaves or till them right into garden soil.

And if that’s not enough, research was done at Michigan State University actually shows that leaving the leaves on your yard in such a manner not only does your lawn no harm, but it can actually suppress weed growth.

Let Lush Lawn Help

The Lush Lawn Fall Lawn Care and Restoration package will provide your grass with all of the protection it needs to survive the winter and thrive come spring. Contact us today.

Why A Fall Lawn Care Plan Is So Important

This time of year, you’re probably thinking more about curling up with a hot cup of apple cider on a cool fall night than you are about your lawn. But a fall lawn care plan is critical if you want your lawn to thrive come spring. 

Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue are commonly used in Michigan for home lawns and are known as “cool-season” grasses. These grasses look very nice in spring and early summer. That’s why it’s ironic that fall is such a great time to provide your turf with the things it needs to stay healthy.

So, let’s take a look at a few fall lawn care tips that you can use before your grass is buried under fallen leaves. 

Make Sure Your Lawn Is Fertilized

Contrary to popular belief, fall in Michigan runs mainly from September through October. And it is the best time to prep your yard for the following season. Applying fertilizer during this time proves to be most effective. That’s because grass and plants are already starting to store their food and energy for the winter. It will ensure a healthy lawn in the spring.fall lawn care

And keep this in mind. Fallen leaves are actually a great fertilizer. If you use a mulching mower to chop them down into tiny particles, they’ll decompose and provide your lawn with nutrients. In fact, most tree leaves are around 2% nitrogen. So, by mulching your tree leaves into your lawn, you are essentially getting a free fertilizer application of nitrogen.

Weed Control

Fall is the ideal time because the weeds are storing carbohydrates in their root system and are more susceptible to herbicide applications. So if your turf has been overtaken by a bevy of broadleaf weeds, applying a herbicide in late September or early October will make a difference in what you battle next year.fall lawn care

And keep this in mind, weeds can disperse thousands of seeds over a wide area in the fall. If you have any weeds in your yard then you have a whole new generation of weeds just waiting for spring to come back. That’s why it’s important to stay out in front of it by applying a pre-emergent weed killer to prevent weeds from invading your turf.

Core Aeration And Overseeding

Aeration reduces soil compaction and allows for vital nutrients and applications to reach your lawn’s roots. A core aerator is a machine with hollow tines that mechanically removes plugs or “cores” of soil and thatch from a lawn.  The “cores” act as a channel through which oxygen, water, and nutrients can penetrate the soil.fall lawn care

If grassroots cannot grow deep, your turf will be less hearty. This can result in grass that is highly susceptible to drought.

In Michigan, early fall is the best time to overseed your lawn. That’s because soil temperatures are still warm, which is necessary for optimum seed germination.  Cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. There are also fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. With adequate sunlight, rainwater and fertilizer, you can expect the new grass seedlings to be well-established before the cooler fall weather arrives.

Let Lush Lawn Help

Our fall lawn care program provides a comprehensive 7-step package. It takes care of everything from fertilizing to aeration, winterizing, and much more. It’s designed to restore and build up your turf at the same time. If you’d like to learn more about how our program works, contact us today.

How To Control Lawn Thatch

On the surface, lawn thatch sounds like something you don’t want any part of when it comes to taking care of your yard. If you have it, it’s not the end of the world, but you will want to take some steps to get rid of it. By doing so, you’ll help your lawn thrive.

Dethatching your lawn is an important part of your lawn care regimen because it improves its overall health. When you dethatch, you actually cut through the thatch with knife-like blades and then remove the debris.  It is a combine-like operation in which you comb out the bad stuff (thatch) that’s keeping your lawn from looking its best. 

So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can remove and/or control lawn thatch in your yard, and what we consider works best.

Mechanical Dethatching

One way to remove thatch is by raking, typically with gasoline-powered equipment. While effective, this technique can damage your lawn by tearing up healthy grass along with the thatch.

Dethatching Rakes

Manual dethatching rakes are heavy, short-tined rakes with curved blades designed to dig into your lawn and pull up thatch as you rake. It’s surprising just how much thatch can come out of a small patch of grass. The seeds better embed into the soil rather than simply remain on top.

Dethatcher (Equipment)

Dethatching equipment goes by many names including but not limited to power rake, dethatcher, and lawn comber.

A dethatching machine uses metal blades or tines to comb across the grass and pull thatch up to the surface of the lawn. After the thatch is pulled to the surface, it can be bagged up or turned into compost.

 

Core Aeration

Lawn aeration is another way to get rid of excessive thatch. But there is a difference between aerating your lawn and dethatching it.

core-aeration

Our lawn experts feel core aeration works the best because core aeration helps loosen compacted soil, which allows the grassroots to grow and spread. Loosening the soil also helps get the water and nutrients your lawn needs deeper into the ground.

Keep Lawn Thatch From Building

Too many fertilizer applications and not watering your lawn enough can encourage thatch buildup. So, be sure to keep a good record of your treatments and watering schedule.

It also helps to know what type of grass you have. Grass-type influences how often you should be dethatching your lawn. Creeping grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and bentgrass accumulate thatch quickly and generally require at least annual dethatching while clumping grasses such as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass need dethatching no more than once every few years.

Let Lush Lawn Help

Fall is a great time to dethatch (if you haven’t already done it in the spring). Lush Lawn will be happy to core aerate your lawn and add our Soil Sweetener program. It’s designed to increase the PH level of your soil, balancing it up into a more fertile range. We also offer a Fall Lawn Care and Restoration program designed to build up your grass so it will come back stronger than ever next spring.

Why You Should Be Overseeding Lawn In Fall

There are many benefits to overseeding your lawn, especially in the fall. After the long, hot summer and all of the foot traffic your lawn endured from those backyard barbecues and pool parties, your turf may need a pick-me-up. If you overseed your lawn, you’ll be doing just that.

So, let’s take a closer look at this important part of your lawn care regimen.

What Is Overseeding?

Overseeding is planting grass seed directly over your existing lawn after core aeration. The aeration holes create more room for new seeds to get under your grass blades and increase the chance for seed germination.

overseeding-lawn-in-fall

You may also need to dethatch your existing lawn so the seed and soil can make better contact. This will result in new grass and better root growth for your already existing lawn. 

The Benefits Of Overseeding Lawn In Fall

Fill in Bare Spots

overseed-lawn-in-fallOverseeding will help fill in any thin areas that are smaller than the size of a basketball. Larger areas will require a more detailed approach (actual seeding). 

Incorporate New Grass Into Existing Turf

Overseeding is also the best way to incorporate improved turf types into your lawn. At Lush Lawn, we’ve selected a blend of grass that includes perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and tall fescue.  This combination can typically improve the color of lawns in Michigan, as well as improve drought and insect resistance.  This blend works well in both full sun and partial shade environments.

Improves The Density Of Your Turf

overseed-lawn-in-fallOverseeding helps maintain the long-term health and vibrancy of your lawn area. Also, it saves you from the effort of removing weeds! If there are no thin or bare spots, then weeds can’t make their way through. This strengthens your lawn and thickens the grass. It increases the insect resistance ability of the lawn.

What is Slit Seeding?

If you’re putting in a new lawn or rehabbing a yard that is out of control, one of the most effective ways to guarantee a lush, green lawn is through slit seeding.

overseeding-lawn-in-fallAs the name suggests, slit seeding is done with a machine by cutting the ground and putting slits in it. The slit seeding machine is called a slit seeder. As the slit seeder moves along the ground, it slices it and drops seeds in the slice it creates.

Lush Lawn’s slit seeding machines have discs that slice the ground, drop the seeds directly into and cover them back up.

The Time To Overseed Your Lawn Is Now

In Michigan, early fall is the best time to overseed — typically between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15. That’s because soil temperatures are still warm, which is necessary for optimum seed germination, and cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. There are also fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. 

Although mid-August through September is the ideal time to repair or seed your lawn, if the weather is favorable, it may be possible to seed into early October. 

Lush Lawn’s seeding services can help breathe new life into your tired, worn-out lawn. In addition to our overseeding program options, we offer a Fall Lawn Care and Restoration program that’s designed to build up your grass, so it will come back stronger than ever next spring.

Don’t wait. Give your lawn the care it deserves. Contact us today.

Lawn Care: Different Types of Grass In Michigan

If you’re looking to set up a healthy and beautiful loan in your home in Michigan, you need to know the different types of grass that are available, and how you can care for your lawn. Whichever grass you choose, it’s important to keep your lawn neat to give your home a touch of class and tranquility. Your search for the best grass type will yield many results, but we want to make things easier for you.

Here are the different types of grass available in Michigan:

Perennial Ryegrass

This grass species posts the fastest germination rate among other types of grass. Both types of ryegrass — perennial and Italian — work well as lawns. Ryegrass grows best in cool climates but not too cold since it is temperature-sensitive. It is wider than other northern grass species, with a signature white tinge on a dominant green background. It needs minimal hydration compared to other types of lawn grass.

A field sown with ryegrass

Ryegrass works best when incorporated with other species of lawn grass since it improves turf qualities, extreme temperature resistance, and makes the lawn easy to mow. The grass germinates better and increases the soil coverage.

Kentucky Blue Grass

This is the most popular type of lawn grass in Michigan. It features thick blades and a signature deep green hue with a slight blue touch. It spreads thick and soft on the ground, giving a soothing feel when you step on it barefoot. It is ideal for all family outdoor events, including letting your kids play on the lawn with their friends. Kentucky Blue Grass is durable, with incredible root penetration, suitable as seed or sod.

Kentucky bluegrass

It thrives in well-drained soils under moderate to bright sunlight and requires at least 4 fertilizer applications per season. You’ll need to irrigate your Kentucky Blue Grass lawn often during dry weather and mow it to two or two and a half inches in height.

Fine Fescue

Fine Fescue thrives in areas where Blue Grass doesn’t. Featuring a signature soft feel, it grows where the Blue Grass counterpart can’t. This grass can also thrive under minimal moisture conditions.

Fine fescue

Fine Fescue grass spots a subtle green color, giving your lawn look soft and velvety appearance. Not to seed Fine Fescue in pure stands is recommended because it may clump together and ruin your lawn’s turf quality. You can mix it with Blue Grass to give you a low-maintenance, shaded lawn.

Tall Fescue

Like Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue is also a low-maintenance lawn grass variety. It features high insect and disease-resistant qualities. This grass thrives in well-drained soils and has high drought tolerance. Requiring very little maintenance to grow, Tall Fescue should be your best choice if water conservation is a major concern.

To take care of it, you’ll need to be seeded purely and not mixed with other types of grass. You’ll need to water your lawn, but you won’t need much water since it’s drought-resistant.

How to choose the best kind of grass:

The type of grass for your lawn will depend on the following factors:

  • Climate: Encompasses everything from temperature, average local rainfall, humidity, and sunshine.
  • Soil water retention capacity
  • Future activities on the lawn: Some grass varieties cannot tolerate vigorous activity.

Proper lawn maintenance can increase your property’s resale value, and give you the confidence to host visitors and take pictures on it. A poorly kept lawn is not only unsightly, but it’s also dangerous since it can harbor pests, and put you in trouble with your local homeowners’ association.

To ensure that your lawn stays neat and fresh all year round, choose Lush Lawn’s lawn care service to take the stress out of lawn care. Our fall aeration service and overseeding will keep your lawn thriving.  Contact us today for more information on the best grass types for your lawn.