Friday, March 30, 2012

RRR Lawn & Landscape Tip of the Day - Early Spring Pruning

Hold off on pruning those spring flowering shrubs that bloom on last year’s growth such as Lilac, Forsythia, Flowing Quince, Magnolia, Azalea, Mock Orange, Weigela, etc.  These should all be pruned after they finish blooming, usually in late spring or early summer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is your spring off to a good start, Grand Rapids?

From everyone at RRR Lawn & Landscape, we hope your spring has been off to a great start!  If you have any questions about how to preserve your plants during these questionable frost days, call us at 616-893-5765.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Another Reason To Maintain Your Lawn: Storm Water Management

It filters Storm Water. Well-maintained lawns absorb water much better than impervious surfaces, such as roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and roadways. Grass planted in drainage tracts help water to absorb more quickly than rock-lined tracts.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Maintaining Your Lawn Saves Your Time and Money

It reduces erosion. A well-maintained lawn not only slows the flow of rainwater, allowing it to filter and return to groundwater,but it also prevents topsoil from being carried away. With the latter, the dense root network is able to hold the soil in its place.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A healthy lawn will improve your air quality - RRR Lawn & Landscape Tip of the Day

It improves air quality. Healthy grass not only traps carbon, but also releases oxygen, and prevents topsoil from being blown away and into the air. This is even more beneficial with the more grass you have.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why Keep a Good Lawn? It Reduces Noise Pollution!

A Good Lawn Reduces Noise Pollution. Many urban buildings that plant rooftop grass areas do so not only to cool the building, but also to cut down the surrounding noise. If you live in high trafficked areas, keeping a well-maintained lawn is worth it for some extra peace.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grand Rapids, MI has Record High Temps!

Record high temperatures are expected today in West Michigan.  We could not ask for a greater way to kick off the official start of spring!  That in mind, if you are in need for any spring lawn care or if you are looking to spruce up your yard a bit, contact RRR Lawn & Landscape today!  Visit our website at! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lawn Care ROI: RRR Lawn & Landscape Tip of the Day

Proper Lawn Care Increases Your Property Value. A healthy lawn is usually not something most people consider when putting their home up for sale, but it can go a long way in improving your home's chance of being sold for a decent price. Fixing up your lawn before putting it on sale can add as much as 14% to property value and speed the sale up by 6 weeks.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lawn Care ROI: RRR Lawn & Landscape Tip of The Day

It's less expensive to maintain a properly cared for lawn. Not only do you end up with fewer weed problems, but also fewer pests and diseases as well. Keeping is consistently healthy and trim saves you from spending exorbitant amounts of repair fees later on.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Large Hail in Grand Rapids

Large hail is falling around Grand Rapids, MI.  If you have any pictures that you would like to share, send them to our twitter account, RRRLawn, and we will post them.

RRR Lawn & Landscape Tip of the Day: Fertilizing

Fertilizing provides your lawn with the nutrients it needs to grow thick and green.  We found this great article on fertilizing and would like to share it with you:

Lawn Fertilizer

An Overview of Fertilizers:

The subject of lawn fertilizer, for many people, can be a confusing one. Most of what your lawn needs can be found naturally in the soil. However, its growth will suffer if any of the essential nutrients are missing from the soil your grass is growing in.

Just as people take vitamins to supplement their nutritional diet they receive from their food, grass needs its own food to stay at its best and greenest.

The three main ingredients in fertilizer which will help your lawn, regardless of the type of grass you own, are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. If your soil has a deficiency of any of these essential ingredients, you should seriously look into fertilizing your lawn. Whether you choose to have this professionally done or not is up to you.

What is important is that you buy a fertilizer with enough of these active ingredients to make a positive impact on the overall growth and health of your lawn. Let’s take a look at what these three main ingredients do to foster growth.

First and most importantly of all, nitrogen keeps your grass a healthy, vibrant green, and keeps your grass dense and thick. This is a sure sign of a healthy lawn. The healthier your lawn is, the better it will be able to naturally fight off bugs and other pests, reducing the amount of time and money you would otherwise need to spend on pricey and messy pesticides which can actually do damage to your lawn and surrounding plant life.

The second ingredient, phosphorous, nutritionally supports strong grass roots, the base of your lawn. Potassium also helps strengthen roots as well as the blades of grass, enabling it to endure during cold weather and dry seasons. All major fertilizers will have some combination of these three compounds to ensure a healthier lawn.

When you buy fertilizer at the store, the packaging will indicate with numbers the amount of each of these three main ingredients that are present. They are numbered in the order listed above: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

For example, a reading of 15-10-8 would indicate a presence of fifteen percent nitrogen, ten percent phosphorous, and eight percent potassium. Knowing what your grass needs or has a deficiency of will help you to determine what kind of fertilizer to buy.

Learn as much as you can about the condition of your grass before you buy. Some of the things to consider are time of year, type of grass seed, how new your grass is, the climate you live in, and the type of soil present in your yard. For example, since potassium helps grass to endure cold weather, a potassium rich fertilizer would be best applied in the ensuing months before winter comes.

A ph test can help you determine the exact condition of your lawn and soil. Ph test kits can be found at the home and garden section at your local store, and at most department stores everywhere.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer For Your Lawn:

Besides the three basic ingredients that can be found in fertilizer, fertilizer comes in four different ways: synthetic compounds, organic compounds, liquid, and granular.

Granular compounds are useful if you want a slow release treatment or a quick release treatment. They are by far the most popular and best selling fertilizers on the market. Most of the time, they come dry in bags, and can easily be spread and applied by hand. Be sure to wear gloves to avoid skin irritation.

Time release, or slow release granular fertilizer is a solution for those who only want occasional treatments for their lawns, giving it a time span of two to six months on average to do its work and get the desired results.

Fast release is less expensive and is best applied during the fall before winter sets in. However, be careful not to use too much, as this can cause chemical burns to the grass, killing it. Also, with this treatment, you will want to make sure your lawn gets plenty of water.

Liquid fertilizer, on the other hand, provides immediate nutrients to the roots and grass, and is applied by using a nozzle attachment on your hose, and the concentrated chemicals are mixed with water for an even coating.

This type of fertilizer is more expensive and requires more treatments than the granular method. Synthetic fertilizer is purely chemical based and is produced in the laboratory using artificial ingredients. As with the liquid treatment mentioned above, the results are immediate, but the same cautions apply: apply carefully, not too much so as to avoid burning the grass, and water liberally.

Organic fertilizer is made up of dead plant and animal life, and usually some sort of manure. This tends to be a slow release method, as the nitrogen is released over time as the organic materials break down slowly.

This type of fertilizer can be applied by using a seeder, by raking, or by hand, and usually has a strong foul smell associated with it because of the presence of manure in the mixture.

The most important factor in choosing a fertilizer is getting the right combination of nutrients to the soil at a rate of speed conducive to growth. You should also consider your budget and how much you can afford to spend, as well as the amount of time and work you wish to spend fertilizing your yard, the number of applications, and so forth.

Ask any home and garden associate at your local store for recommendations based on your findings after the ph soil test. This is the best way to make an informed decision and to avoid wasting your time and money.

The best investment in a good lawn fertilizer will be that which is based on solid facts about what your lawn needs and what your lawn already has in abundance. With any fertilizer treatment, be sure to water your lawn often, especially during any dry spells.

When carefully selected, this supplement of nutrients will give you a richer, fuller, greener lawn that you can enjoy all season long.

Read the full article at: 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Much Sunlight Does Grass Need? - RRR Lawn & Landscape Tips

Most grasses require at least four hours of sunlight every day. If you have an area that doesn’t receive that much sun, you still likely have a couple of options to get the lawn you desire.  Call us for some great pointers: 616-893-5765

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How To Perform a Soil Test: Lawn Care Tip of the Day

We came across a great article on how to perform a soil test and would like to share it with you. 


What is a Soil Test?

A soil test is a process by which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper and zinc) are chemically removed from the soil and measured for their "plant available" content within the sample. The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the amount of fertilizer that is recommended. A soil test also measures soil pH, humic matter and exchangeable acidity. These analyses indicate whether lime is needed and, if so, how much to apply.

Why Do You Need A Soil Test?

Encourages plant growth by providing the best lime and fertilizer recommendations.

When growers guess about the need for lime or fertilizers, too little or too much is likely to be applied. By using a soil test report, the grower does not need to guess.

For Example: When applying too much lime, soil pH may rise above the needed level, which causes nutrients such as iron, manganese, boron, copper and zinc to become less available to plants. It is also common to see homeowners purchase one bag of lime when they purchase one bag of fertilizer. Based on an average lawn size of 5000 square feet, one bag of fertilizer may be enough. Applying one bag of lime over 5000 square feet, however, will have little effect on soil pH.

Diagnoses whether there is too little or too much of a nutrient.
Promotes environmental quality.
When gardeners apply only as much fertilizer as is necessary, nutrient runoff into surface or ground water is minimized and natural resources are conserved. 

Saves money that might otherwise be spent on unneeded lime and fertilizer.
For example, growers of flue-cured tobacco often routinely apply phosphorus. In areas where soil levels are high in phosphorus, a soil test could save these farmers up to $60 per acre.  
Soil sampling analysis is a free service for any grower in North Carolina.

Taking a Good Sample

A soil sample must be taken at the right time and in the right way. The tools used, the area sampled, the depth and the correct mix of the sample, the information provided, and packaging all influence quality of the sample.

    Time it right.

        Take a soil sample a few months before starting any new landscaping-whether your laying sod, starting a vegetable garden, putting in a flower bed, or planting perennials. If the soil test report recommends lime, you will have enough time to apply it and have it adjust the soil pH before you plant.

        Sample established areas-lawns, trees, shrubbery, and other perennials-once every three or four years. You can sample at any time of year; however, mid-August through mid-September is an ideal time to take samples for cool-season grasses, such as fescue, bluegrass, and ryegrass. By sampling at this time, you can be ready to apply lime in the fall.

        For areas recently limed or fertilized, delay sampling at least six to eight weeks.

    Use clean sampling equipment.

        Use a soil probe, spade, hand garden trowel, or shovel to collect samples. Do not use brass, bronze, or galvanized tools because they will contaminate samples with copper and/or zinc.

        Mix samples in a clean, plastic bucket. If the bucket has been used to hold fertilizer or other chemicals, wash it thoroughly before using it for soil samples.

    Sample each unique area separately.

        Each sample should represent only one soil type or area-for example, a lawn, vegetable garden or perennial landscaped area (Figure 1). For each unique area, take at least six to eight subsamples and combine them to make one sample. If one area of your yard seems healthy and another has bare or yellow areas, sample healthy and unhealthy areas separately even if both are lawn grasses or flower gardens, etc.

sampling pattern graphic

Figure 1. Unique areas to sample in a home landscape.

Take a soil core to the appropriate depth.
For lawns, sample to a depth of four inches, excluding any turf thatch.

For vegetable and flower gardens, sample to the depth that you plan to mix in lime or fertilizer, usually four to six inches.

For shrubbery, remove any mulch or surface debris, then sample to a depth of four to six inches around the base of plants. Avoid zones where lime or fertilizer have been recently applied.
Mix sample cores well.
Place all the subsamples for one unique area in a plastic bucket and mix thoroughly. Use the mixture in the bucket to fill a soil sample box about two-thirds full. Look for the fill line on the box.
 Fill out an information sheet and label the sample box completely.
Get your sample boxes and information sheets from Cooperative Extension offices, agribusinesses, regional agronomists, or the Agronomic Division laboratory. Use permanent ink or pencil to fill out forms and label boxes.
If you just want routine lime and fertilizer recommendations, then fill out a Soil Sample Information Sheet (form AD1) and send it with your samples.

 If you suspect existing nutritional problems and want the problems diagnosed, complete a Diagnostic Soil Sample Information Sheet (form AD2) instead.

Give each sample a unique identifier of up to five letters and/or numbers. Put this identifier on both the information sheet and the sample box. Choose an identifier that will help you remember the area it corresponds to, such as FYARD, BYARD, ROSES, or GRASS.

Be sure to list the existing plants and/or the plants you are planning to grow. You must include the crop code(s) in order to receive lime and fertilizer recommendations. Codes are listed on the back of the information sheet. Code 024 applies to all vegetable garden crops and 026 to all lawn grasses except centipedegrass, which is coded as 022.
Package the sample appropriately.
 Put the soil mixture in the sample box. Do not tape the box or put soil in a plastic bag. If you are sending several sample boxes through the mail, pack them carefully in a sturdy container. Do not send samples in a manilla envelope. Mail samples to the Agronomic Division laboratory at the address on the back of this publication.

Receiving the Soil Test Report

Soil samples are usually analyzed within one week of the time they are received. However, from late fall through early spring, processing may take several weeks due to the heavy sample influx from farmers at this time.

When testing is complete, a report is mailed to the homeowner and a copy is immediately posted on the internet at

A cover sheet and a crop-specific note are sent with the report. The cover sheet explains the technical terms and index values. The note provides extra details on fertilizer application schedules and rates for specific kinds of plants.

Information about soil tests and their interpretation is also available on the internet at

Consult an agricultural advisor for more help on sampling, interpreting soil test results, and understanding how to implement them. 

For the full article, please visit: 

Monday, March 12, 2012


Be safe out there if you are in Grand Rapids or the surrounding areas as we have a Tornado Warning in effect!  For more updates or to check the status of the warning, please visit:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy Spring Grand Rapids!

Today made it appear official.  Spring is here, Grand Rapids.  I hope everyone enjoyed this nice taste of spring.  Did you dust off your grills and cook up some amazing steaks and burgers?  Keep RRR Lawn & Landscape in mind this spring season when you are looking for general lawn care and maintenance or landscape design.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Is Spring Here Grand Rapids?

I hope everyone enjoyed a great spring like day today!  Now that the snow has melted you are likely thinking spring and what you are going to do with that yard!  RRR Lawn & Landscape has some great spring specials going on right now for lawn care and landscaping services in the greater Grand Rapids area.  Be sure to check out our website at

Spring Specials
  • Bundle 3 Services or More and Receive a $75 Credit
  • Have 10 Yards or More of Mulch Installed and Receive a $50 Credit
  • With Any Mulch Installation, Receive a FREE Irrigation Start-up! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Grand Rapids Roads are Getting Slick!

Hey Grand Rapids, I hope you are having a GREAT Saturday!  RRR Lawn & Landscape just wants to remind you that the roads are getting slick out there and to be safe today!  Let's hope this winter weather goes away soon and brings us a beautiful spring!