What do you see as you gaze outside your front window at your lawn? A healthy, thick, green turf? Or does it look more like a mix of yellowing weeds and struggling patches of what you think is grass?

Summertime in Northern Michigan is so important. You want to get outside, hopefully barefoot, and enjoy the beautiful weather, but it can be hard when you have to dodge pokey weeds and dry grass with every step. Sometimes a perfect lawn seems elusive, even to the most diligent homeowners.

Let’s talk about how to improve the health of your grass so that you can be proud of what you see when you look out the window and enjoy your outdoor space with family and friends.

1. Regular Fertilization

When wishing for healthy turf, fertilization is one of the most important factors. Think of fertilizer like your lawn’s food. When applied by professionals, it gives your lawn the nutrients it needs at exactly the right time. A well-fed lawn means one that is green and thick. Typically, we recommend around 5 fertilization applications each season. The first and final applications tend to be the most important.

Beyond giving your grass the nutrients it needs, fertilization can help encourage root growth at the correct times. Deep and healthy roots help your grass to absorb more water and nutrients. A healthy root system makes your grass more resilient, more green, and more dense.

lawn care professional fertilizes grass with walk behind spreader

2. Consider Hydretain

Hydretain can be a huge benefit to your lawn, especially if you do not have an automatic sprinkler system. It is a lawn and plant treatment that helps use moisture (water) that would otherwise be lost to evaporation. It attracts moisture vapor in the soil and condenses that vapor back into plant-usable water droplets. This treatment helps your lawn manage its soil moisture, which can help reduce drought stress during the hot summer months.

3. Healthy Mowing Habits

Disease can easily creep into your grass if it is not mowed properly. Grass should be mowed weekly in the growing season and not more than 1/3 of the grass blade should be removed a time. Your grass blades are actually little leaves that serve a very important function for the plant. When trimmed too low it can cause a weak root system and the plant struggles to complete the photosynthesis process.

lawn maintenance team mows lawn at home

When temperatures are too warm, be sure to hold off on mowing in the heat of the day. Mowing stressed lawn can cause death and disease. In addition, making sure to always have a sharp mower blade so the grass is cleanly cut is of utmost importance. Blades should be sharpened at least once a season.

4. Regular Watering

Everyone knows that your grass needs water, but how much does it actually need to be healthy? Can you overwater your grass? Yes! Your grass needs water regularly, especially in the warmer months, but many overwater their lawn. In times of drought or extreme heat, it needs more water than usual. Established grass needs about 1 ½” of water per week. It is advised to water in the early morning hours, as opposed to at night. Excess moisture sits on the blades overnight, which can lead to disease. Early morning watering allows water to be dispersed before the hot sun hours, where it is immediately evaporated.

automatic sprinkler waters grass

5. Utilize Weed-Control As Needed

If you already have followed all the above steps, you shouldn’t need too much additional weed control. Thick, healthy grass helps battle weeds and choke them off before they can become established. In nearly every application of fertilizer, weed control is already built in.

However, some lawns are stubborn, especially if they have an existing issue. Specialized treatments for specific weeds or spot spraying should happen if a type of weed is really taking over your turf. Many weeds look alike, so consulting with an expert is important.

6. Fall Aeration and Overseeding

Aeration and overseeding breathe new life into a struggling lawn. If you have tried all of the above steps, aeration and overseeding could be what helps your grass start to improve. Aeration punches little holes in your turf, allowing for nutrients, water, and air to get directly down into the root system. For soil that has been heavily compacted, aeration is essential. Again, aeration is not a great solution for all lawns, so check with your landscape professional to see if it would be a good fit to help improve the health of your turf.

7. Effective Fall-Clean Up

Nothing sinks healthy grass more quickly than a bad fall clean-up. Leaving leaves or debris on your grass through the fall and winter can turn a beautiful healthy turf into one that is struggling with death and disease. Snow mold is common in Northern Michigan and can be a result of forgetting to do your fall clean-up. Grand Traverse and Leelanau county fall clean-ups tend to be a whole lot of work, most yards needing leaf removal several times with homeowner-grade equipment. At TruNorth, our commercial-grade equipment can move wet heavy large piles of leaves easily, so we typically only need to visit a property one time to effectively manage all the leaves.

Healthy Grass in Grand Traverse and Leelanau County

You might be thinking it is too late to start turning your lawn around, but it really is not! Start with summer fertilization and be sure to set your sprinkler run times effectively. Taking your time this fall to ensure you have completed a final fertilization, aeration, and clean-up can set you up for success in the coming months.

TruNorth partners with our sister company, Green Team to assist with some lawn care tasks! Fertilization for all clients, Green Team or TruNorth, is provided by Green Team at this time.

Whatever your needs are, our qualified landscape maintenance experts are ready to help! If you are only interested in fertilization, aeration, weed control, or hydretain, Green Team is a perfect fit. If you are looking for a more full-service lawn maintenance approach, TruNorth offers maintenance contracts that include all the services above. Contact us today for a quote!

Get started today with a consultation!

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