PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — Now that many of us are getting outside and enjoying the May sunshine and warmth, you may be thinking of getting that lawn tidied up for those summer BBQ’s or starting up a garden, but what is the best way to do so while making sure you’re still being as environmentally friendly as possible? I sought out an expert for advice!

Now that Spring is getting into full swing more of us are getting outside in the yard, and maybe tapping into that green thumb.

I spoke to Laurie Broccolo from Broccolo Tree and Lawn this afternoon, and she says now that the sun is out, more people have been “antsy” to come in for their lawn and garden essentials for the season.

“The kinds of questions we get specifically for lawn care, is whenever there’s a brown spot that hasn’t greened up, like this area is really quite gorgeous right now and that’s because it gets a little bit more shade.” Broccolo said. “So, understanding environment, and understanding that out by the road it’s hotter and drier, full sun so that might need a little extra help, and some raking and seeding to perk it back up.”

Laurie says that the number one tip she can give when it comes to caring for your lawn or your garden is that less is more.

“People are going oh, the more you do the fewer problems you’ll have; no, it’s not, it’s the opposite,” Broccolo said. “Less is more, so fertilizing only when the grass needs it, so after it’s done its spring fast growth then it needs a little replenishing…”

When watering your lawn, she recommends using a sprinkler every couple hours, on a timer in each spot to saturate where needed and doing so earlier in the morning to prevent evaporation that can occur in the afternoon. 

“My goal is to help people have a nice lawn, but smaller. Stop mowing certain areas, why not have a little bit of a meadow or a habitat in the back? Plant more pollinator plants, have more layering of trees and shrubs, really become part of the garden and enjoy the birds and the butterflies and the pollinators and stuff instead of just lawn,” Broccolo said. 

Having healthy soil is key to a healthy lawn and healthy plants.

Other lawn care tips include being sure not to “blanket treat” the entire area as it can be harmful to the microorganisms that live in the soil. Blanket treating is a process that involves spraying the entire lawn with treatment whether certain areas need it or not. Cornell Cooperative recommends using three fertilizers a year to spot treat for crabgrass and other weeds, and only in areas that need it as a preventative measure, especially where it’s hot and dry.

When treating/fertilizing the grass the second time wait until mid to late September if 3-4 weeks have gone by with little to no rain and needs a little bit of push.

~ Meteorologist Christine Gregory