Tips for Lake-Friendly Lawns

One of the most delightful sights of spring in New England is a lush, green lawn.  We all love the feeling of soft grass under foot, the sight of an occasional wildflower blooming among the verdant blades.  However, no one wants to see these plants growing in the lake, so we are offering these tips for creating healthier, lake-friendly lawns and maintaining clean, weed-free water.

 1. If you are seeding a new lawn, or want to learn more about your lawn's nutrient content, pH level and organic content, take a soil test.
2. Fertilize responsibly.  Use only 0-phosphate fertilizer unless a soil test indicates the need for a low-phosphorus fertilizer.  Too much phosphorus in the lake can stimulate algae blooms and plant growth.  
Lawn fertilizers contain three main ingredients:  nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.  For example, a 10-6-4 fertilizer contains 10 percent nitrogen, 6 percent phosphorus, and 4 percent potassium.  The middle number represents the percent of phosphorus in the fertilizer.  It is important for those of us living on the lake to look for products that have a zero (0) in the middle.
3. Do not apply fertilizers and pesticides when there is a threat of rain.
4. Water, if desired, in the early morning.  Do not over water.
5. When mowing, maintain a height of 3 to 4 inches.  Leave clippings on the lawn.  Higher grass holds in moisture and crowds out weeds.


Lawns-Green, Lakes-Clean Brands*
Andersons Fortify Lawn Food  29-0-4
Andersons Weed & Feed  28-0-3
Andersons Crabgrass Preventer  30-0-4
Scotts Phosphorus-free Turf Builder
Scotts Four-Step (Step 1)  30-0-4
Scotts Four-Step (Step 3)  28-0-8
Scotts Lawn Pro Crabgrass Preventer  26-0-3
North Country Organics No-Phos Fertilizer  6-0-6
Luscious Lawn Organic Lawn Care 9-0-0 
Vigaro Ultra Turf Phos-Free Fertilizer  29-0-4
Green View Spring Zero Phosphorus  27-0-12
LESCO Professional Turf Fertilizer 32-0-10

(* from