Fit Turf Blog

Lower Maintenance Yards in Michigan

Lower Maintenance Lawns

Does the amount of time that you take planning, caring for and thinking about your lawn cause you to turn a little green? You’re in luck! At Fit Turf, we have some ideas that you can implement to make your lawn care a little less high maintenance. By choosing a less demanding type of grass, reassessing your maintenance practices and calling in the big dogs, you can create a lawn that causes less angst this next season.

High Maintenance Versus Low Maintenance

The cause of your fretting could be in the kind of grass that you have chosen in your yard. Some types of grass are naturally more demanding than others; some allow for a more laissez-faire, or hands-off, approach.

Common Michigan grass species, such as Kentucky bluegrass, take much more maintenance that other types of grass. Tall fescues and fine fescues may be a better choice for your cool-weather grass needs.

Fertilizer and More!

Kentucky bluegrass, although beautiful, takes a lot more fertilizer on an annual basis to keep it in tip-top shape. In fact, Kentucky bluegrass takes two to four pounds of nitrogen every year. To achieve a level of care that makes this type of grass gorgeous, it is often necessary to apply a fertilizer up to five times yearly. If you currently have this type of grass in your yard, you may feel as if you are fertilizing your heart out to keep your grass looking emerald green.

Other types of grass, such as tall fescues and fine fescues, take a lot less fertilizer — up to 1/3 to ½ of the nitrogen of Kentucky bluegrass grass species. By merely changing up your grass to a less-demanding species can eliminate some of your all-consuming yard care. Tall fescues are a great choice for Michigan lawns because of their larger root mass. They also are better able to handle drought, beat summer heat stress and stave off grub damage. Fine fescues have varying needs; however, they still require less care than Kentucky bluegrass. Creeping red fescue is often used in over-seeding mixes along with Kentucky bluegrass. This is a shade-tolerant fescue that requires less fertilizer and water.

According to Michigan State University Extension, the best type of fescues to consider for Michigan yards is hard and sheep fescues. These types of fescues provide great groundcover and require little care.

Maintenance Practices

Are you maintaining your lawn correctly? Keeping your lawn too long (or even hacking it off too short) can ultimately cause your lawn to require more maintenance. Experts recommend mowing your lawn to 3-3.5” to reduce the possibility of weed seeds germinating.

Another way you can benefit your lawn is to leave the grass clippings after you mow, instead of bagging them and sending them off to refuse. Although in the 1990s this practice was discouraged (and still is in some home owners’ associations), leaving your clippings on the lawn puts back some of the nitrogen needed by the lawn. It can actually be equal to one application of fertilizer!

Water your cool-weather grass one inch per week, split up into multiple applications. This one-inch estimate includes natural rainfall; when it rains, be mindful that it isn’t always necessary to let those sprinkler systems run too.

Leave it to Fit Turf

Is performing your own fertilizing and maintenance beginning to be too much? Contact Fit Turf. Our team of expert technicians will assess your lawn and give it just what it needs to look amazing and stay healthy all year long. There’s no reason to do it yourself: we offer several affordable options and programs for your convenience. From Greenskeeper Plus Complete Care to a la carte services, Fit Turf has your back — and your lawn.

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