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Checklist for Spring Lawn Care

Checklist for Spring Lawn Care

It’s early spring in Minneapolis and your lawn is just waking up. That yellowish, brownish tinge is starting to turn a fresh, wonderful, and hopeful shade of green. What are the next steps? And what can you do to give your lawn a head-start this spring? Aside from getting back into your mowing routine, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as a spring lawn care checklist.

1. Rake and Remove all leaves, sticks, and debris.  Also, lightly “dethatch” your lawn with a lawn rake; this will help to remove some of the thatch and allow the grass to “breathe” more.

2. Aerate. Aerating a lawn reduces compaction and allows the free movement of air, water, roots, and living organisms–all key components of a healthy soil ecosystem. We tend to think of soil as a solid substance, dirt, but it is more than just that. A good loam soil is comprised of 40 to 60 percent pore space–air and water.

3. Repair any bare spots by spreading compost or topsoil, and over-seeding with a high-quality grass seed. Making these repairs sooner rather than later will allow you to take advantage of the favorable spring weather. Keep in mind that come summer, it will be nearly impossible to get grass seed to germinate.

4. Repair automatic sprinkler systems. Spring is an ideal time to carefully check all of your irrigation zones, and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. Change the battery on your irrigation clocks–this should be done once per year–and replace any broken lines or broken sprinkler heads. Set your clock, but don’t “set it and forget it.” Your irrigation system will likely need to be adjusted once the summer weather hits.

5. Begin your fertilization program. In Minneapolis, April is a good month to begin fertilizing your lawn. I like to use a slow-release, organic fertilizer so that my lawn is fed over time, and throughout the course of the season, rather than all at once. Look for a fertilizer with a high percentage of “water-insoluble” nitrogen. This will also reduce pollution from runoff, and is better for the environment.

6. Get a soil test. Check with your local cooperative extension service for soil testing. It’s easy and relatively cheap to get a good sense of what your soil needs. A soil test is a great basis for understanding how much, and what type of fertilizer will benefit your lawn most.

7. Sharpen your mower. Keeping a sharp mower blade is essential to creating a clean cut, and sharpening should be done at least once a year.

8. Bag your clippings after your first mowing, and mow it slightly lower than you normally would. Even if you usually mulch your lawn clippings and leave them on your lawn, you should bag them the first time that you mow after winter. This gets rid of any fungi or diseases that may have overwintered on your grass. After this, you can go back to your normal mowing program.

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.