Why Raking Leaves in the Fall Is Essential for Your Yard and the Environment

Discover the importance of raking leaves in the fall for a healthy yard and a greener environment. Learn why leaf removal benefits your lawn, enhances aesthetics, prevents accidents, protects wildlife, and contributes to responsible yard care.

Continue Reading

Fall Cleanup Season 2019 Is Approaching

The Minnesota state fair is here and that means the unofficial end of summer.  Before you know it, kids will be heading back to school and temperatures will begin to cool off.  

This means we are in store for one of the most beautiful time of the year when the leaves on the trees begin to turn all sorts of bright colors.

However, eventually those bright colored leaves will fall off the trees and onto the ground.  This creates all sorts of extra yard work if you want your lawn to remain healthy.

Whether you don’t have time to take care of your lawn this fall, or simply would rather watch football and enjoy time with your family on the weekends, we offer the following fall lawn care services for you to take advantage of.

Leaf Clean Up Services

Leaf clean up services is by far the most popular service we offer during the fall season.  Our lawn mowers are equipped with powerful lawn bagging systems that make picking up leaves a breeze.

We can bag up the leaves in your lawn and leave them for you to dispose of or we can simply haul them away to the compost for you.

Over Seeding

Over seeding is important to help you maintain a lush and healthy lawn come spring.  Your lawn has experienced a lot of wear a tear throughout the year which means some blades of grass have died off.

Over seeding will give your grass the nutrients it needs to survive through winter as well as promote new blades of grass to grow.


Our slow release fertilization services in the fall provides your lawn with the nutrients it needs throughout the winter.  As your lawn goes dormant, our slow release fertilizer ensures it still gets everything it needs to sprout up come spring.

Gutter Cleaning

As the leaves fall it is inevitable that some are going to end up in your gutter.  This can cause water backups on your roof and in your gutter which will eventually lead to ice dams as temperatures continue to fall.

Getting your gutters clean is essential to the structure of your home.  The weight from ice dams can cause stress on your roof and walls and expose cracks.  As the ice melts it will find its way into your home and can cause costly damage.

Core Aeration

Core aeration provides your lawn with the extra oxygen, moisture and nutrients it needs to survive colder temperatures. 

Core aeration relives compact soil by punching holes in the ground and makes your lawn less susceptible to damage from weeds, insects, drought and disease.

Need Fall Lawn Care?

As one of the leading lawn care companies in the Minneapolis area, our schedule fills up fast.  To ensure you can get on our schedule we also recommend requesting a free estimate as early as possible.

Fall 2019 In Minnesota Is Almost Here!

Fall is almost here and that means cool temperatures, sweaters, leaves changing colors and Thanksgiving.  All in all, fall is the best time of they year, except when it comes to yard work!

For those of you with mature trees in your lawn, you know those leaves are about to fall and that means countless hours of yardwork picking up leaves.

So, what are some of the best ways to efficiently pick up the leaves in your lawn?  Lucky for you, we have years of experience.  Here are some of the tricks we have learned over the years.

Start Mulching/Bagging Early

For most of us in Minnesota, we stop mowing our lawns mid to late October.  However, there are still leaves on the trees that haven’t fallen yet.

In order to avoid an over abundant pile of leaves in your lawn, consider raising the height on your lawn mower to either bag or mulch leaves.  Doing this every other week will help reduce the overall workload of picking up all the leaves at once.

Use A Tarp

If you like doing things the old fashioned way, with a hand rake, rake the leaves onto a tarp.  This makes it easy to drag the leaves around to make a big pile that can later be dumped into a container.  Or better yet, drag the leaves to the curb and hire a company to come suck them up.

Hire A Professional

At Peter Doran Lawn & Landscaping we use our commercial lawn mowers and equip them with a Protero leaf vacuum.  This allows us to make quick work of any yard, no matter how many leaves are on the ground!

Our lawn mowers mulches the leaves and dispenses them into a collection container.  From there, we empty the containers near the curb where our big leaf suction truck comes by and sucks them up.

We can handle any size yard and typically work until the snow falls.  If you are in need of a reliable company to come take care of the leaves in your lawn this fall, contact us and we will get you on the schedule.

Why Aerate Your Lawn?

What Are The Benefits of Aeration?

Core aeration can help make your lawn healthier and reduce its maintenance requirements through these means:

  • Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
  • Enhanced soil water uptake.
  • Improved fertilizer uptake and use.
  • Reduced water runoff and puddling.
  • Stronger turfgrass roots.
  • Reduced soil compaction.
  • Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance.
  • Improved resiliency and cushioning.
  • Enhanced thatch breakdown.

Equipment Affects the Outcome

The type of aeration equipment can determine how effective the treatment will be. In general, turf responds best when core holes are close and deep. Equipment with hollow tines removes soil cores. Equipment with open tines divots the soil surface. Aeration equipment also varies in tine size up to 3/4 inch diameter and in depth of penetration up to 4 inches, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. In most home lawns, fertile topsoil may have been removed or buried during excavation of the basement or footings, forcing grass to grow in subsoil that is more compact, higher in clay content and less likely to sustain a healthy lawn.

Why Is Aeration Necessary?

In most home lawns, fertile topsoil may have been removed or buried during excavation of the basement or footings, forcing grass to grow in subsoil that is more compact, higher in clay content and less likely to sustain a healthy lawn.

Walking, playing and mowing will compact soil and stress lawns. Raindrops and irrigation further compact the soil, reducing large air spaces where roots readily grow. Compaction is greater on heavy clay soils than on sandy soils, and it is greatest in the upper 1 to 1 1/2 inches of soil.

Aeration can help relieve soil compaction, allowing your grass to grow deeper roots and make better use of water and fertilizer.


ROOT GROWTH – Core aeration allows air, water and fertilizer to better reach the root zone. This stimulates root growth to create healthier, stronger turfgrass plants.

Relieve Thatch Accumulation

Most home lawns are subject to thatch accumulation. Left unmanaged, it impedes water, fertilizer and pesticide effectiveness. Core aeration combines soil with the thatch debris, so soil organisms are better able to break down the thatch and reduce its accumulation.

How Often Should Lawns Be Aerated?

Most lawns benefit from annual aeration. Heavily used lawns, or those growing on heavy clay or subsoils may need more than one aeration each year. Again, turf responds best when tine spacing is closer and penetration is deeper.

When is The Best Time to Aerate?

If you have cool season turfgrass such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, both spring and fall are ideal times to aerate. In spring, aerate between March and May. Perform fall aeration between August and November. Aeration before or at the time of late season fertilization enhances root growth and improves spring greenup and growth.

Warm season turfgrasses such as zoysiagrass and bermudagrass should be aerated in mid-spring to summer. Avoid aerating when warm season grasses are dormant – it may encourage weed competition. In addition, avoid aerating warm season grasses during spring greenup, and not until after their first spring mowing.

Herbicides, Fertilizers & Aeration

It’s best to aerate before you apply pre-emergence herbicides, rather than after. Aerating after a herbicide application can reduce the chemical barrier formed by the herbicide, allowing weeds to germinate. Applying fertilizer after aeration helps the lawn compete against weeds. Water the lawn after aeration, particularly in areas where drought and high temperatures are common.

What can you expect?

Immediately after aeration, your lawn will be dotted with small plugs pulled from the soil. Within a week or two, they break apart and disappear into the lawn.

About 7 to 10 days after aeration, the aerification holes will be filled with white, actively growing roots – a sign that the turfgrass is receiving additional oxygen, moisture and nutrients from the soil.

On compacted soils and on lawns with slopes, you should see an immediate difference in water puddling and runoff after irrigation or rainfall. After aeration, your lawn should be able to go longer between waterings, without showing signs of wilt. With repeat aerations over time, your lawn will show enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance.

Remember, most lawns benefit from annual aeration. And while you shouldn’t expect miracles, especially with poor soil, lawns that receive this care will be healthier, more vigorous, easier to maintain and have fewer pest problems.

6 Cool Season Lawn Care Tips For Minnesota

Fall is usually the time of year when homeowners start to prepare their lawns and gardens for winter. It can be a busy month for gardeners, as harvests may still be coming in and many additional home maintenance tasks take up precious weekend time.

If you have a grass lawn you also know that there are many tasks that should be done to prepare the lawn for a cooler winter. Follow these tips for successful fall lawn care and maintenance.

1. Rake the leaves

If your seasonal fall brings a lot of fallen leaves, use them to your advantage.

Depending upon how many leaves you get you may simply want to rake them up and put them in a yard waste bin. Or you may want to add them to your compost pile or work them into the soil of your yard for added nutrients.

If you have a lawn mower you can run over the leaves on your lawn, creating tiny leave pieces that can easily be left on the lawn itself as an organic fertilizer.

Just make sure you don’t leave wet, soggy piles of whole leaves on the lawn as it can suffocate growth and contribute to an unhealthy lawn. 

Regularly removing the leaves as they fall is the best way to stay on top of this annual task.

2. Decrease watering

Depending on fall weather, you may need to continue to water your lawn.

Cool season grasses are still growing in the fall and they may not actually need additional irrigation.

3. Aerate and overseed

Cool season lawns should be aerated and overseeded in the fall.

Some experts recommend doing this the same weekend each year, such as Labor Day weekend, as September is an ideal month for this task.

A core aerator removes small “plugs” of grass and soil and helps lawns receive more oxygen, sunlight, seed and fertilization.

After aerating a cool season lawn it’s a great time to overseed the area and add the fall fertilization.

4. Fertilize and feed

Fall is a great month to fertilize a cool season lawn.

Cool season grasses use the fall months to recover from the heat and growth of the summer and may need a good dose of nitrogen.

The exact fertilization requirements should be determined by conducting a soil test to see what nutrients the soil is lacking.

Making sure your lawn has what it needs to stay healthy (and keep weeds at bay) is very important, especially if you desire a nice green lawn next spring and summer.

5. Mow and edge

Cool season grasses are still growing in the fall months but probably won’t require as much mowing or edging as the summer months.

Your cool season lawn may just need mowing once every couple of weeks; never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade height.

6. Weed and control pests

Cool season grass usually doesn’t require traditional weed or pest control in the fall months.

However, cool season grasses are sometimes susceptible to moss and fall may be a good time of year to apply moss killer.


Fall Lawn Care Tips For A Healthier Lawn Next Spring

Fall is here in a big way!  It’s been days since we have seen the sun and the temperatures have dropped like an anvil.  However, I am sure we will still have some nice days before the snow starts to fall, after all we still have a lot of leaves to pick up.

Anyways, if your already looking forward to spring, here are some fall lawn care tips you can do now to have a healthier lawn next spring.

Mow often, removing no more than one third the total height. Leave these short clippings on the lawn. They will quickly break down, adding organic matter, moisture and nutrients to the soil.

And as you mow you can take care of all those fall leaves at the same time. Shred the fall leaves and allow them to remain on the lawn. As long as you can see the leaf blades through the shredded leaves your lawn will be fine. And just like the clippings, they add nutrients and organic matter to the soil.

Fertilize your lawn with a low nitrogen, slow release fertilizer. University research has shown that fall fertilization is the most beneficial practice for home lawns. Less disease problems and slower weed growth means your lawns – not the weeds and pests – benefit from the nutrients. Fall fertilization also helps lawns recover from the stresses of summer because it encourages deep roots and denser growth that can better compete with weeds and tolerate disease and insects.

Weeds often gain a foothold in the lawn during the stressful summer months. A healthy lawn is the best defense. Even with proper care weeds can bully their way into the lawn. Try digging, root and all, to remove small populations of weeds. Weeding can be a great tension reducer and physical workout.

If this isn’t possible, consider spot treating weeds or problem areas with a broadleaf weedkiller. Whether using traditional or environmentally-friendly products read and follow label directions carefully. All these products are plant killers and can cause damage to other plants if not applied properly.

Fall, when the lawn is actively growing, is the best time to core aerate or dethatch lawns suffering from thatch build up or compacted soil. Thatch is a layer of partially decomposed dead grass plants that prevents water and nutrients from reaching the grass roots. Use a dethatching machine to remove thatch layers greater than one half an inch. Or core aerate the lawn to create openings in the thatch layer and help reduce soil compaction to encourage root growth and allow water and nutrients to infiltrate the soil.

Overseeding your lawn in the fall helps increase thickness and improves the overall health and appearance of the lawn. For best results, overseed directly after aerating.

Begin implementing some of these strategies and soon you’ll be on your way to a healthier, better looking lawn for the coming growing season.


Aeration Services In Minneapolis

Aeration, a method of punching holes into the lawn to allow moisture, oxygen, and nutrients to penetrate the soil, also helps break up thatch.

Its primary goal is to loosen compacted soil; it’s often needed for lawns grown in clay soils and those subject to heavy foot traffic.

You can do the job more than once a year, if necessary. If you aerate once annually, do it in fall for cool-season grasses.

Why Do We Need To Aerate?

Lawn aeration is a treatment used when the soil in your lawn is compacted. A lawn can become easily compacted if a lot of action goes on in your yard.

Parking cars on your lawn, animals running around, and kids playing on the lawn are just some common ways soil can become compacted.

Compacted soils make it so water and air do not reach the roots of the grass in your lawn, leaving your lawn lacking the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

If you live in an area with clay soils, your soil is more likely to become compacted than areas with sandy soils. The bonds in the clay soil are much closer together, making it difficult for water and air to penetrate to the roots.

How Does Core Aeration Work?

A core aerator machine pulls out plugs of soil in your lawn to leave pockets for air and water to get through and leave room for root growth.

It is important to use core aeration methods because using spikes to just poke holes in the ground could cause further compaction.

The plugs of soil that were taken out by the aerator will break down and give more nutrients to your lawn. 

Once the lawn has been aerated, clear away the plugs, spread a layer of organic matter such as compost or soil conditioner over the lawn, and water it in. The organic matter seeps into the holes left by the plugs, improving the soil’s texture.

Hire A Professional

At Peter Doran Lawn, we have all the tools needed to aerate any size lawn.  Give us a call at (763) 595-1440, send us a chat on the Facebook chat icon in the bottom right corner or request a quote here.

Common Questions About Dethatching Your Lawn

DethatchingRecently we have been receiving a lot of inquiries about dethatching  Dethatching is an important aspect to maintaining a healthy lawn so below we are going to answer the most popular questions consumers have about it.

What Is Dethatching?

Dethatching, also know as power raking, is the process of removing dead grass (aka thatch) from your lawn.  This process can be completed using a handheld rake or a special tool that is attached to a lawn mower that works the same way a handheld rake does.

What Does Dethatching Do For Your Lawn?

Dethatching removes the dead blades of grass from your lawn allowing the healthy blades of grass to store nutrients and grow healthy and strong.  Dethatching also loosens up the top layer of soil allowing air and moisture to penetrate deeper into the roots of your lawn.

What Is The Difference Between Dethatching and Aeration?

Dethatching removes a dead layer of grass roots that is found between the grass and the top layer of soil.  Aerating is the process of punching holes in your lawn to giving water and other nutrients the ability to soak deep down into the roots of your lawn.

Can You Dethatch Your Lawn When It Is Wet?

Dethatching your lawn when it is wet is not recommended because it can cause damage to healthy blades of grass by pulling out their roots.  This will ultimately lead to a thinning lawn.

When Is The Best Time To Dethatch Your Lawn?

With most lawns in Minnesota being a cool season turf, it is recommended to dethatch your lawn in the early spring or early fall.  Timing is everything, especially in the fall because you need to give your lawn ample amount of time to grow and re-establish its roots before frost begins to form on your lawn.


Dethatching your lawn is an important process to grow a healthy lawn and there is a small window of time when dethatching is in season.  At Peter Doran Lawn, our dethatching schedule does fill up fast making it essential to get on our schedule no later than early-October.

If you found this article informational or have any questions about dethatching, please leave a comment below.


Winter Is Coming!  Prepare Your Lawn & Garden Now.


Winter Is Coming!  Prepare Your Lawn & Garden Now.

Though many homeowners would love to avoid it, every year winter comes our way. When the snow flies, any work in the garden comes to a halt, so take advantage of our warm fall days to prepare your garden for winter. In doing so, you’re eliminating many spring tasks, preventing insect and disease problems, and protecting plants for winter.

 Fertilize Your Lawn

The best time to apply lawn fertilizer is when grass roots are building up natural sugars to store over the long cold Minnesota winter. A winterizing fertilizer should contain a moderate level of nitrogen that will aid in storing sugars and a high potassium content (the last number in the 3 number analysis) to help build a strong root system to help grass survive our winter.

Note Timing is key! Nitrogen must be applied late enough that the lawn has slowed growth, however not late enough that the nitrogen will go unused (when the lawn has gone completely dormant). The best time for fall application of fertilizers is late September to mid-October.

Water Water Water!

All plants require plenty of moisture in fall, so the roots don’t dry out through the winter. Deep root watering is the easiest and most economical way.  A slow drip from your garden hose should do the trick. The block of ice that will form around your roots will ensure they stay hydrated during fluctuating winter temperatures.

Eliminate Overwintering Insects and Diseases

Horticultural Oil is a product that will suffocate overwintering insects. Once leaves have fallen from trees and shrubs, simply mix with water and spray onto branches. Note that temperatures need to be above Oº Celsius.

If you had any problems with fungal diseases such as powdery mildew this past summer, apply lime sulphur spray for great clean up results.

As well, any leaves affected by insects or disease this season should be raked up and discarded to prevent problems next season.

Protect your Plants

Newly transplanted Cedars and Evergreens (as well as tender shrubs such as Rhododendron, Azalea and Boxwood) will require a protective barrier to prevent winter winds from drying them out.

Be sure to secure stakes in the soil to support the burlap so it is at least 6″ from the outer foliage. This same ‘shelter’ can be created with a large tomato cage with burlap wrapped around the outside.

Tender roses should be mulched in after the ground freezes hard. Cut your tender roses to 7″ from ground level. You can use Stryrofoam Rose Huts or Rose Collars to protect plants. There is no need to mulch hardy roses.

For mulch, simply mound peat moss, compost or clean leaves over the plants then place Rose Hut or Collar around the plant.


Fall is the perfect time to incorporate organic matter like compost to improve texture in heavy soils and add an amazing source of nutrients.

Request A Free Estimate

If you live in the Minneapolis, MN area and would like help getting your lawn ready for winter, request a free estimate from us today!


What Makes Fall in Minneapolis Special?

What Makes Fall in Minneapolis Special?

Minneapolis is known for its outdoor activities and the changing of colors during the fall season is what makes it so special for so many people.  With that being said, let’s take a look at a few places where you can go to enjoy the outdoors and all the colors Minneapolis has to offer.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has the most diverse tree collection in the state, making for one of the most colorful places in Minneapolis during the fall.

You can take a scenic drive through the Arboretum’s forest, or you get out and enjoy some of the fall activities like scarecrow exhibits or the World of Pumpkins display.

There is an admission, however if you make it on the third Thursday of the month after 4:30 admission is free and children under 15 are always free.

Hyland Hills Chairlift

If you really want to see a “30,000 foot overview” off all the fall colors the Twin Cities has to offer, head over to Hyland Hills for a chairlift ride.

This scenic retreat is in the heart of Bloomington and in addition to all the colors you can see from the top of the highest hills in Hennepin County, you can also enjoy stargazing, campfires, and live music.

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

If you really need a break from the Cities, head just south of Bloomington and visit the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

This Refuge is along the Minnesota River Valley and offers all the fall colors along with wetlands and wildlife that is native to the land.

Stop by the visitor’s center and grab your map to all the trails and hiking paths available.  This Refuge visit is sure to be a pleaser to the entire family.

There you go, those are our top 3 spots to visit to see fall colors in the Minneapolis area.  If you have another spot to visit in the fall you think we should know about, please let us know in the comments below.

Scroll to top