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6 Cool Season Lawn Care Tips For Minnesota

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 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.

 

Fall 2018 In Minnesota Is Here!

Fall 2018 In Minnesota Is Here!

Fall is 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.

Aeration Services In Minneapolis

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

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.

Conclusion

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.

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.

SOIL

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?

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.

The Importance of Fall Leaf Clean Up

The Importance of Fall Leaf Clean Up

Fall is officially here in Minnesota and we are starting to see the beautiful colors that make this time of year the best.  However, before you know it those leaves will be falling from the trees and littering your lawn.

Although it may be fun making huge piles of leaves for the kids and pets to play in, your lawns health depends on you picking them up before the snow falls.

What Happens When You Don’t Pick Up Leaves

Leaf cover blocks air and light which is a necessity for your lawn to grow.  Leaves that are not picked up before snow fall will suffocate your lawn and cause brown and dead patches.  Furthermore, leaves can carry disease such as anthracnose.

What is The Best Practice for Leaf Removal

In Minnesota, we have tons of trees with tons of leaves which means your yard is likely to have too many leaves to make mulching a good practice.  However, if you yard does not have a ton of leaves, mulching is the best practice because they help keep moisture and warmth in the soil during the colder months.  Additionally, you can add leaf mulch to flower bed, trees and shrubs.

For lawns where there are just too many leaves, you will want to bag the leaves and drop them off at your local yard waste.  Before bagging though, be sure to place as much mulch as possible around flowers beds, trees and shrubs and possibly even rake some into your lawn for protection.

Our Leaf Removal Services

At Peter Doran Lawn, we use commercial mowers and custom made lawn vacuums that make leaf removal a breeze.  Our  lawn mowers mulch the leaves while our lawn vacuums suck up at 99 percent of the debris, leaving just enough through your lawn for protection.

You can request a free estimate online or give us a call at our new offices in Rogers, MN at (763) 595-1440.

5 Fall Lawn Care Chores That Promote Healthy Growth During The Cold Season

5 Fall Lawn Care Chores That Promote Healthy Growth During The Cold Season

Fall colors are beginning to show up here in Minnesota which means that you need to get your lawn ready for the cold season.  Completing these 4 fall lawn care chores will help promote a healthy lawn while it buried underneath the snow this winter.

Aeration

The first task you will want to complete this fall is core aeration.  Core aeration is the process of punching small holes throughout your lawn to decompress the soil.  This process allows water and nutrients to soak deeper into the soil so you lawn can soak them up.

Overseeding

Overseeding is the process of adding new grass seed to your lawn.  Combined with core aeration, overseeding allows the seedling to set roots deep in the soil for a healthier, stronger growth.

It’s important to overseed every few years because overtime individual blades of grass begin to weaken and die off.  Overseeding helps fill in bare spots and keeps your lawn looking full.  Additionally, overseeding will promote a healthy lawn and help prevent unwanted weeds from growing in your yard.

Fertilizer

Fall fertilizer will help provide water and nutrients to your lawn even as it is buried under a foot or two of snow.  We recommend using a slow release nutrient program so your lawn can continue to receive the nutrients it needs throughout the long winter months of Minnesota.

Leaf Clean Up

Leaf clean up is an essential part of any lawn.  Some may argue that leaves will decompose and are healthy for your lawn.  This may be true, however piles of leaves on your lawn covered by snow will ultimately lead to the smothering of your lawn and provide the right conditions for disease.

Gutter Cleaning

Finally, gutter cleaning is a task nobody likes to do but it has to be done.  Cleaning your gutters in the fall is best after the leaves have mostly fallen off of the trees.  Clear gutters will keep the water moving away from your house and prevent damage such as roof leaks and flooding.

There you go, there are 5 fall lawn care chores that you should complete this fall to keep your lawn and home in good condition.  If you need help with any of these chores, please give us a call at (763) 595-1440 or request a free estimate from us today.

4 Reasons to Overseed Your Lawn This Fall

4 Reasons to Overseed Your Lawn This Fall

Overseeding is the process of spreading seed across your lawn to fill in bare spots, improve lawn density and enhance your lawns color.  In Minnesota, the best time to overseed your lawn is in the fall when nighttime temperatures consistently fall below 65 degrees because this gives the new seed time to germinate where they can survive the winter and begin growing again in the spring.

 Now that we know what overseeding is and when it should be done, is this fall season the right time to overseed your lawn?  Let’s take a look at some reasons why you may consider overseeding this fall.

Do You Have Bare Spots?

If you have bare spots in your lawn then overseeding is a great solution.  Overseeding allows you to fill in those bare spots with new seed that will be ready to fully sprout come spring.

Is Your Lawn Thinning?

A thinning lawn means that your grass is old!  Like everything else in this world, grass has a life span and dies out over time.  Overseeding will help replace those old and dying blades of grass and will make your lawn fuller.

Change Grass Type

Overseeding is a great way to change the type of grass in your lawn without having to dig up the old lawn.  Simply choose the new type of grass you want in your lawn and overseed it for a few years.  After a few years you will have a yard full of your favorite type of grass.

Prevent Weed & Disease

Older lawns are susceptible to disease because they use less resources.  Younger lawns are stronger and use up more resources that help deter weeds and other disease from taking over your lawn.

Conclusion

An older lawn that has bare spots and is thinning should be overseeded.  Overseeding this fall will fill in those bald spots, thicken your lawn and help prevent weeds and disease.  If you plan on enjoying your lawn next summer, overseeding in the fall is the perfect time to start next years maintenance.