Healthy Lawn Care:
Southfield’s streams, wetlands, lakes, and natural watercourses are precious commodities and must be preserved. Follow these earth-friendly lawn care tips provided by SOCWA to protect our local waterways.
Don’t guess….soil test! – Contact MSU Oakland County Extension and purchase a soil test box. Ask for the organic matter test as well as the test for basic nutrients. For information contact the Oakland County Garden Hotline: 248.858.0902.
Mow high and let the clippings lie – Set the mower blade at the highest setting, leaving 2-½ to 3 inches on the grass blade. Tall grass encourages deep roots and shades out some weeds. If you mulch your grass, you can reduce fertilizer quantities by 25% or more each year.
Select earth-friendly fertilizers – Fertilizers with slow-release nitrogen and low or no phosphorus are recommended.
Understanding Fertilizer Labels - Easy as 1-2-3!
All fertilizers are labeled with three numbers that provide the percentage weight of nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), and potash (K). To protect waterways that are easily polluted by very small amounts of phosphorus and/or nitrogen, select a zero-phosphorus or low phosphorus fertilizer. The relative ratio of nitrogen (1st number) to phosphate (2nd number) should be 5-to-1 or greater.
Why Use a Low-Phosphorus, Slow-Release Fertilizer?
1. Protect lakes, streams and groundwater;
2. Promote steady and uniform grass growth;
3. Avoid over-fertilization and "burning" of grass;
4. Provide essential nitrogen for building healthy turf grass.
Sweep up Fertilizer from paved surfaces back onto the lawn – Fertilizer left on sidewalks and driveways can easily wash into storm drains, local rivers and nearby lakes.
Avoid weed-and-feed combination products – Combination products often add unnecessary herbicides to the landscape. A better approach is to identify the weed and selectively spot treat – or dig weeds by hand.