Lake Friendly Lawn Care

MA lakefront

Winner of “most improved” shoreline award, MaryAnn Roth – Summer 2015

  • Never use the lake as a disposal site for leaves or other yard refuse. These speed up eutrophication by “filling the lake.”
  • Eliminate fertilizing. This choice is the best solution, but if lawns must be fertilized, soils should be tested for chemical nutrient requirements so the appropriate fertilizer can be selected. Never use a fertilizer containing phosphorus or potash unless a soil test indicates a need for these nutrients.
  • Avoid spring fertilizing. The nutrients are wasted on foliage. Feed lawns in the fall when growth slows and roots can store the nutrients. If you must fertilize in the spring, use small amounts of a soluble form of nitrogen, a lake friendly” or slow-release nitrogen after spring runoff and rains. Several low level applications are better than a single, large application.
  • Do not apply fertilizers adjacent to seawalls or dose to the shoreline. Leave a reasonable, 10-foot, non-fertilized zone along the shoreline to absorb runoff in these areas.
  • Leave grass clippings. This practice saves labor and returns vital nutrients to the soil.
  • Seed lawns in the fall. Eliminates competition from crabgrass.
  • Use good quality grass seed. When planting or renovating excellent blends of quality blue grass or tall fescue can be purchased for sowing. If so desired, certified
    seed can be purchased.
  • Consider not having a lawn and for establishing a greenbelt of trees and shrubs between your house and the lake. Greenbelts reduce lake pollution, provide a home and food for wildlife, offer a more aesthetic view of the lake and require less maintenance.
  • Use lake water for watering lawns. If lawns must be watered, lake water contains nutrients and organic matter to help fertilize.
  • Carefully consider all beach and seawall construction. These activities increase erosion and disturb nutrient rich sediments.
  • Disturb as little topsoil, shrubbery and grass as possible when doing any excavation near the lakeshore. Promptly grade and seed all disturbed soil at the water’s edge to eliminate erosion.
  • Do not burn or compost near the lakeshore. These activities tend to increase soil erosion.
  • Aquatic vegetation, often considered unsightly, should actually be encouraged, particularly in shallow water. If aquatic herbicides are necessary, please use an aquatic herbicide licensed expert.

glacial rocks and lawn