The United States has a wide range of climates. From coast to coast and north to south, the drastic range of differences in not only weather but soil conditions means that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to growing a healthy lawn and a beautiful garden. As a homeowner looking to maintain your lawn and garden, advice that is geared toward those in the Pacific Northwest may not apply if you are located in the Heartland. The Michigan State University extension program takes a regional approach to agriculture and lawn maintenance and offers real-world knowledge and workings combined with research and science to provide expertise and insights into all things garden and lawn care.
About the MSU Extension Program
Today, the Michigan State University Extension Program provides a nice collection of lawn maintenance related advice and research for people looking to improve their lawn and garden.
Lawn Maintenance Research
One of the issues surrounding lawn and garden maintenance in the Midwest is the extremes in weather conditions. With four distinct seasons and significant variance in summer high temperatures and winter low temperatures, it can be challenging to cultivate a healthy lawn and garden. The Michigan State University Extension program offers some valuable insights on unique agricultural needs as they apply to the Midwest in particular, but also throughout the country. Their website provides a wide spectrum of yard care related research for lawn services, homeowners, and students including weed control recommendations, lawn treatment protocols, pest control advice, and more.
If you are ready for a healthy, attractive, and smart lawn maintenance routine, the Michigan State University Extension program pages provide dozens of pages of advice and tips. Dozens of pages of advice and tips can be found here including information on general lawn maintenance, choosing grass for your lawn, purchasing lawn spraying equipment, pest management, lawn aeration, and weeds. All of the basics you need to get started and everything you need to know to formulate a lawn treatment plan and maintain a healthy, green lawn can be found in these pages.
MSU offers some unique opportunities through its extension program. Not only are you able to connect with master gardeners by county, but you can also attend lawn and garden programs. Through their Lawn and Garden extension program website, you can find programs on hot topics from climate change to drought resources to classes that teach you how to grow, cook, and eat foods fresh from your garden.
The MSU Extension turfgrass program brings together educators, professionals, and homeowners. The result is a vast wealth of knowledge that applies to real-world homeowners and lawn care services looking for lawn treatment and maintenance solutions. Their extension program website allows users to connect with turf care experts by county. They also put together programs on topics such as lawn fertilization, drought resources, and master gardener programs.
We all know that weeds are one of the most significant issues that face homeowners’ lawns. The University of Michigan Extension program offers a $10 IPM Pocket Guide for Identifying Weeds in Nurseries and Landscapes to highlight some of the most common weeds found in home landscapes. Each weed is identified by its common name and its scientific name along with descriptions of the weeds, life cycle information, and color photos. This information can be used by lawn services to implement tactical weed control plans on one-off hard to treat weeds that their broad-spectrum weed control products have no effect on.
An extensive directory of weeds is undoubtedly helpful to identify weedy invaders in a home lawn. However, this secondary directory of weeds can more specifically narrow down invasive species by zip code. This handy page allows you to put in your zip code to see what weeds are currently flowering in a particular area. It also helps to identify weeds by exact species by using an interactive worksheet that allows users to input information such as broadleaf, grass, family name, or even common name.
This portion of the MSU Extension program allows users to identify specific lawn diseases that may be affecting lawn care. Photos can help users diagnose problems, and clicking on a specific disease brings up the cause of the disease as well as mitigation factors. Lawn diseases from Bacterial Wilt to Yellow Patch are examined and discussed in detail to help homeowners best identify and treat some of the most prevalent conditions associated with turf.
Trees and shrubs can add a lot of value and beauty to your lawn and garden. Trees offer shade and can increase home value while shrubs can lend to aesthetic beauty and balance to a landscape. The MSU Extension program helps to identify which trees and shrubs will thrive best in your yard as well as help plan with placement. They cover general requirements and care, shrub and tree selection, native plants and beneficial insects, pest management, Emerald Ash borer, Gypsy moth, conifer corner, as well as additional resources to give you all the information you need to maintain healthy trees and shrubs.
This channel provides a host of articles about pest management including information about weeds, damaging insects, and plant diseases.
When it comes to lawn maintenance and weed control, so much of what you need to know depends on where in the country you live. If you live in the northern states, the lawn service you require will be vastly different from those who live in the southern portion of the country. Finding useful information online can take hours of sifting through hundreds of pages just to find a few nuggets of wisdom. The Michigan State University Extension program pages use insights from professionals, scientists, and homeowners to compile useful data that can be applied to most lawn maintenance needs in that region, and much of it can be applied nationwide. The network of experts is committed to helping to improve the lives of the people in their communities and extends to people across the nation and worldwide.