Think Before You Spray

St. Louis Park has tips for sustainable lawn maintenance.

As spring (finally) makes its way to Minnesota, more and more people start paying attention to the appearance of their lawns, dragging out lawnmowers and shears that have idled in the garage all winter. But when it comes to fertilizing, don’t get too carried away. The City of St. Louis Park has recommendations for lawn care practices that not only keep your grass green but also keep the environment clean.

“We usually just recommend a fall application of fertilizer,” says Jim Vaughan. He encourages residents to eliminate spring lawn fertilizing because enhancing lawn growth in spring also enhances weed growth. Wait at least until September to apply fertilizer, he says. This way, “basically you’re just applying it to the grass itself once a year,” he explains, and not the weeds. “Anything after that is really a waste of money and a waste of resources.”

Care for the environment is a shared concern throughout St. Louis Park, which recently became a bee-friendly city. “We’ve really minimized our inputs of fertilizers and pesticides in most of our parks,” Vaughan says. Eight parks have been designated as completely bee-friendly, meaning no fertilizers or pesticides are used in any of them. Remember to do your part this growing season and think before you spray.