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July 13, 2017

Healthy Lawns for Healthy Water

Lawn care can be a dreaded part of summer, but following some simple practices can help make it easier, and keep our lakes and creeks healthy!

Keep the grass long, at around 3 inches. Higher cuts promote deeper root growth into the soil, which naturally grants more access to soil water and nutrients, which increases their ability to tolerate environmental stresses. Generally, the higher the height of the cut, the less maintenance that is required. Keeping the grass long also provides sunlight blockage to the soil, which actually suppresses weed germination. Longer grass also needs to be mowed less frequently. 

Keep your mower blades sharp. Keeping blades sharp will help cut the grass cleanly rather than tearing and shredding that comes with using a dull blade. This cuts down on the amount of water lost from the plant, reducing the need for additional watering.

Mulch it. Rather than bag your grass clippings, mulch and leave them. This provides natural fertilizer.

Water wise. Lawns typically don't need more than 1 inch of water per week. Water in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation.

Sweep up. Sweep clippings off sidewalks and out of streets. If left get washed into stormdrains and on to lakes and creeks where they become pollution.

Switch to fescues. Switch from traditional Kentucky bluegrasses to fescues. Fescues grows slow, requiring less mowing, and are drought tolerant. You can learn more about fescues and sustainable lawn car practices on the UofM Extension website

Following these tips won't just make a great impact on the environment, but it can also make a great impact in your summer free time!