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5 Most Common Lawn Care Mistakes

5 Most Common Lawn Care Mistakes

Having the greenest lawn in the neighborhood takes a lot of work and a lot of knowledge to accomplish.  To help your lawn get started on the right track, we have provided you with the 5 of the most common lawn care mistakes homeowners make when trying to get their lawn on track.

Cutting Lawn Too Short

Mowing grass too short is very harmful to the plant and can actually put it into shock. Cutting off too much of the grass blade will limit its ability to absorb sunshine, which allows it to perform photosynthesis through its leaves and make food. It also weakens the root system.

Set the mower height to about 2 1/2 inches and never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade at any one time. The grass will develop a deeper root system to support the longer blades and need less water.

Watering Wrong Time Of Day

Don’t water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. It is best to water between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. There’s usually less wind, less sun, and your lawn has all day to dry.

In the middle of the day, water evaporates too quickly. And in the evenings, water can cling to the blades of grass overnight, which can cause lawn diseases.

Fertilizing Out Of Season

It is best to apply fertilizer when the grass is rapidly growing, not during the hot summer when the grass wants to go dormant anyway. Fertilizing at this time will require more water to support the increased growth.

Fall fertilization is important for root growth and will give the lawn a boost next Spring. Late spring, late summer, and after the last mow of the year are ideal times to fertilize.

Not Testing Soil

Most homeowners just plant grass willy nilly. Grass thrives in soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. 

Send a soil sample to your local extension service for testing and they’ll tell you what your soil needs to make your grass healthy.

Mowing With Dull Mower Blades

Dull mower blades actually tear grass blades leaving them looking brown on the tips and making them more prone to disease and insect damage.

It is recommended to sharpen your lawnmower blades at the beginning of each season and possibly once more about mid-way through the season.

Minneapolis Lawn Mowing Season Is Here

Minneapolis Lawn Mowing Season Is Here

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming the grass is starting to grow and our lawn mowing crews are out and about throughout the Minneapolis area mowing lawns.  This is also the time of year when a lot of our customers have some great questions about lawn mowing.  Below are some of the top questions we receive from existing and new customers.

What Month Do You Start Mowing?

Typically we like to get started mowing lawns late in May or early in June.  However, weather patterns can move these dates up or push them back.

What Is The Best Time Of Day To Mow?

The best time to mow your lawn is throughout the morning and evening hours.  When the sun is at its peak, your lawn is busy photosynthesizing and trying to keep moisture in and mowing during this time can actually stress your lawn.

Is It Good To Cut The Grass Before It Rains?

Mowing your lawn right before it rains is actually the best time to mow.  However, if you miss the rain and still need to mow afterwards, check to see if the blades of grass in your lawn are standing straight or bent over.  If they are bent over, wait an hour or so until they are standing straight because cutting bent blades of grass can lead to a less clean cut.

Can You Cut Your Grass Too Often?

Yes you can.  If you cut your grass too often can be just as damaging as letting it grow too tall.  The rule of thumb here is to never cut more than one-third of the blade of grass.

Do You Have Mowing Questions?

With over 25 years experience mowing all types of lawn throughout Minneapolis, we know a lot.  If you have questions about your lawn and you want expert advice, contact us and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Spring Is In The Air & Our Crews Are Hard At Work

Spring Is In The Air & Our Crews Are Hard At Work

Spring has finally arrived just like we told you it would.  Now that all the snow has melted it’s time to prepare your lawn for the upcoming season.

With a couple of weeks already in the books this spring, we would like to share a couple of photos with you from some of the lawns that have received our dethatching services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides the nice visual patterns in your lawn, dethatching plays an important role to the longevity and health of your lawn.

Dethatching essentially removes the dead blades of grass from your lawn to keep them from stealing nutrients from the healthy blades of grass.  We bag the dead blades of grass and haul them away for you so you have nothing to worry about.

Once dethatching is done, you may want to consider over seeding your lawn.  The removal of dead blades of grass from your lawn may leave your lawn not looking as full as it once used to.  By applying an application of over seed early in the spring, you give your lawn a chance to grow new blades of grass and return to its fullness as the year wears on.

At Peter Doran Lawn and Landscaping, we provide a wide range of lawn care services throughout the spring, summer and fall.  Some of our services, besides the ones mentioned above, include spring clean up, lawn mowing services, fertilizing services, weed control and fall clean up services.

Whether you need professional lawn care service  or just don’t have the time to take care of your lawn yourself, request a free estimate or give us a call today and let us tell how our services can make your neighbors envy your lawn.

5 Tips for Summer Lawn Care in Minnesota

5 Tips for Summer Lawn Care in Minnesota

Summer heat can take a toll on your lawn.  If you mow too low, water too much or too little, or ignore early signs of pests, your grass could quickly become lackluster or even completely die in small or large patches. Keep your lawn looking its best all summer long by following these 5 summer care tips.

1. Mow at the right height.

In summer, adjust your mower height to leave grass taller. Taller grass shades soil, which reduces water evaporation, leads to deeper roots and prevents weed seeds from germinating. Ideal mowing height varies with grass type. Time mowings so you’re never removing more than one-third of the leaf surface at a time.

2.Water properly.

The most efficient time to water lawns is probably early in the morning hours from 4 to 8 a.m. Less water is lost to evaporation due to lower temperatures and less sunlight.

Midday watering, though good for the plants since it cools the plant temperatures and reduces heat stress, is not as efficient because some of the water evaporates before getting into the soil.

Watering in the evening should be avoided. If the grass plants go into the night-time hours wet, they will remain wet for extended periods of time. This may favor the growth and development of turfgrass diseases.

3. Treat for grubs.

Insecticides for grubs can be applied from May through mid-June, when recently overwintered grubs (larvae) start feeding. However, these grubs are large and may be difficult to kill. Starting in mid- June most grubs are in the pupal stage and insecticides are not effective. In early July adults emerge to feed on plants, mate, and then at night fly to grass to lay eggs. The best time to apply insecticides for grubs is from mid-July until early September. Granular applied insecticides distributed on soil with a spreader are usually the best insecticides

4. Clean up after your pooch.

The family dog can cause dead spots on a lawn. If you see dying grass due to your dog’s urination, flush the area with water to dilute the urine in soil. The best solution is to create a mulched or pebbled area and train your dog to use that area for bathroom breaks. Also, keep waste picked up and dispose of it properly.

5. Sharpen your mower blade.

A dull mower blade tears grass, creating ragged, brown edges that provide an opening for disease organisms. Sharpen your mower blade regularly. The rule of thumb is that a sharp blade lasts for 10 hours of mowing. Consider purchasing a second blade so you’ll always have a sharp blade at the ready.

What To Expect From Your Lawn Mowing Service Company

What To Expect From Your Lawn Mowing Service Company

Lawn Mowing Service Company

Choosing a lawn mowing service company can be quite challenging.  The options almost seem endless between well established companies, small growing companies, startup companies and even the neighbor kid down the block who is trying to make some extra cash. 

With so many choices, how do you know what lawn mowing service company is right for you?

When considering a lawn mowing service company, you need to consider how well you want your yard to be maintained.  If you are simply looking for somebody to stop by once a week, cut the lawn and be on their way, the kid down the block may be the right choice for you.

However, if you are looking for a professionally well-kept lawn that is mowed, weed whipped and the debris is cleaned up, you are going to need to hire a company with all the tools.  Well established, small and startup companies are going to be the best choices in this scenario.

Finally, if you are looking to have the greenest lawn on the block, you are going to want to hire a lawn mowing service company that does more than just mowing.  Check with well-established and small growing companies who provide weed control, bush trimming and many other services alongside their lawn mowing services.

Once You Hire A Lawn Mowing Service Company, What Should You Expect?

Besides the simple expectation of having your lawn mowed on a regular schedule, your personal lawn mower should have a good understanding of what your lawn is telling him.  After all, your personal lawn mower is on your lawn, and plenty of others, every week so they should be able to tell what is happening with your lawn.

Your personal lawn mower should be able to make recommendations for fertilizer, weed control, watering schedules and more.  The more detailed your lawn mower is, the healthier your lawn will be and the happier you will be.  Once you land a detail lawn mower who makes the right recommendations, you will want to hang on to them so be sure to get their business card just in case.

Start Researching Lawn Mowing Service Companies

I think it goes without saying, but before you hire just any company be sure to talk to 3 or 4 companies and ask them questions about what services they offer to ensure they will be able to offer you every service you think your lawn may need and then some. 

Once you have narrowed it down to those companies who have the services you need, get a free estimate from each one for all the services they offer.

Finally, head on over to the internet and check for reviews left on Google and Facebook.  The lawn care business is very competitive and you need to make sure you are hiring a reputable company.

Lawn Mowing Season Begins in Minneapolis

Lawn Mowing Season Begins in Minneapolis

It’s official… spring has finally arrived in Minneapolis and this means you will start to see lawn mowing crews pulling their trailers on highways and city streets near you.  In today’s blog, we are going to talk a bit about ways you can keep your dedicated lawn mower looking forward to mowing your lawn.

First Mow of the Season

If you’re a new customer, the first mow of the season is the best time to try and meet your lawn mower to go over the quirks of your lawn such as boundaries, special instructions or to let them know of any hidden pipes that may be sticking up out of the ground.  This meeting ensures that your lawn mower will know what expectation you have of them throughout the year and will result in a relationship where everybody is happy.

If you’re not able to meet your lawn mower when they arrive at your property, you may want to consider marketing items in your lawn with flags.  Be sure to leave a note with the office so they can include it on the job details so your lawn mower knows what the markers mean and can remove the markers for you after they mow your lawn.

How Weather Effects the Schedule

Mother nature can be brutal on lawn mowers throughout the mowing season.  Traditionally, our lawn mowers at Peter Doran Lawn like to stay on a schedule and mow your lawn on the same day each week.  However, mother nature can throw weeks at us where rain keeps us from being able to stay on schedule.  If it does rain during the week, your lawn may end up getting mowed a day later or at a later time of the day if your lawn mower is working hard to catch up throughout the week.

Heat also plays a role in how much your lawns your lawn mower can mow during a week.  On those really hot days, heat exhaustion can set in and you may want to keep an eye on your lawn mower if you are around the house while the mow your lawn.  Additionally, since coolers only keep things cold for so long, you can earn “brownie points” from your lawn mower by offering them a cold cup of water or lemonade!

As the lawn mowing season gets into full swing, we look forward to servicing you and your lawn in the most professional way possible.  If you haven’t received your free quote from us yet, be sure to give us a call at 763-315-0052 or fill out our free estimate online and we can get you on the schedule.

Lawn Care Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Summer

Lawn Care Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Summer

Summer is only months away, which means the dry season is waiting to take a toll on your lawn.  Preparing your lawn for the upcoming dry season means taking the right steps towards the end of spring and beginning of summer are essential to your lawns health.  Here are 4 lawn care tips you can follow to ensure a healthy green lawn this summer.

Dethatching

Dethatching your lawn is by far one of the most important things you can do in the spring to help your lawn grow healthy in the summer.  Dethatching is the process of raking out the dead and damaged grass from your lawn.  Dead and damaged grass absorbs nutrients in your lawn leaving less nutrients for healthy grass to absorb and grow.

Late Spring Fertilizer

In the late spring/early summer, weed control that focuses on popular Minnesota weeds such as dandelions and creeping Charlie/ground ivy should be applied before they start to take over your lawn.  Once these weeds begin to take over your lawn, it’s hard to stop them as their seeds are easily spread across your lawn by wind and animals.

The second application of fertilizer in the late spring is a granular fertilizer that promotes healthy lawn growth.  This granular fertilizer should be a slow release granular fertilizer that releases nutrients that feed your lawn over time.  A slow release is phenomenal during the drier months of the late spring and early summer.

Lawn Mowing

Regularly mowing your lawn is ideal helps reduce of creating an ideal habitat for insects like mosquitos, voles, mice and snakes.  Furthermore, when mowing your lawn, it is important to keep in mind that shorter is not always better.   Proper mowing height is important to help your lawn strive during the colder, wetter months and the hotter, drier months.  During the hotter, drier months, you may want to let your lawn grow a tad bit longer so it can strive.

Below are the ideal height for grass based on the type of grass you have in your lawn…

Cool Season Grasses of Minnesota

Kentucky Bluegrass                : 2.5 to 3 inches (60-75 mm)
Perennial Ryegrass                : 2.5 to 3 inches(60-75mm)
Tall Fescue                             : 2.5 to 4 inches (60-100 mm)

Warm Season Grasses of Southern State

Common bermuda                  : 0.75 to 1.25 inches ( 20-30mm)
Hybrid bermuda                      : 0.5 to 1.0 inches (12-25 mm)
St. Augustine                          : 2.0 to 4 inches ( 50-100 mm)
Zoysiagrass                            : 1 to 2.5 inches (25-60 mm)
Centipede grass                     : 1.0 to 2.0 inches ( 25-50 mm)

Following the lawn care tips above should prove to give you the lush, healthy, green lawn you strive for this year.

4 Spring Lawn Care Tips for a Healthy Lawn

4 Spring Lawn Care Tips for a Healthy Lawn

4 Spring Lawn Care Tips for a Healthy Lawn

If you want your lawn to be the healthiest and greenest lawn in the neighborhood this year, you must
 
pay extra attention to it this spring.  After a Minnesota winter, your lawn is full of dead grass and debris
 
that has built up, frozen, and melted deep down into the soil of your lawn.  These 4 spring lawn care tips
 
will clear the dead grass and debris from your lawn and provide it with the nutrients it needs to grow
 
healthy, strong, and green throughout the year.
 

Spring Clean-Up

 
Spring clean-up for your lawn refers to removing the loose debris such as leaves and garbage from
 
around the home, bushes, and shrubs that has been blowing around since the snow started falling. 
 
Debris left on your lawn early in spring can smother the grass and begin to breakdown damaging the
 
roots of your lawn and promotes weeds to grow.  We recommend using high powered gas back pack
 
blowers that are designed to blow out loose debris and debris that has begun to breakdown into your
 
lawn.
 

Dethatching

 
Dethatching is the process of raking your lawn to remove grass that has died or grass with bad roots
 
from the lawn.  Removing the dead thatch and damaged grass from your lawn promotes the growth of
 
healthy grass by allowing it to absorb more nutrients.  Whether you use a hand rake the thatch, or an
 
Dethatcher rake attachment on your lawn mower, or a professional service, dethatching is one of the
 
most important steps you can take to promote a healthy lawn for years to come.
 

Pre-Emergent Fertilizer with Defendor® Specialty Herbicide

 
Pre-emergent fertilizer in the spring is crucial to deterring weeds from growing in your lawn.  As we all
 
know, spring is when everything from flowers, fruits, vegetable, grass, and weeds begin to grow in
 
Minnesota.  Pre-emergent fertilizer is a chemical treatment that will stop weeds before they start
 
growing while promoting a healthy lawn. Here is a list of just some of the weeds Controlled:
 
 Crabgrass (preemergence and early postemergence)
 
 Goosegrass
 
 Poa annua
 
 Chickweed
 
 Henbit
 
 Spurge
 
 Dandelion
 
 Clover (hop, red and white)
 
 Carolina geranium
 
 Catchweed (bedstraw)
 
 Chickweed (common and mouse-ear)
 
 Dollarweed
 
 Fleabane
 
 Common groundsel
 
 Knotweed
 
 Black medic
 
 Wild mustard
 
 Shepherd's-purse
 
 Spotted catsear
 

Lawn Mowing

 
The first time you mow your lawn for the year is the most important cut of the year.  The first cut of the
 
year should be done about 2 weeks has sprouted. With the cool season Grasses of Minnesota lawns
 
should be cut by no more than a third to roughly 2.5” to 4” inches at most (our crews cut at 2.75” to 3.5”
 
depending on the grass type and the temperature) Additionally, you will want to keep your lawn mower
 
blades razor sharp to ensure a clean cut so the ends of the grass don’t split and turn brown.  Home
 
owners should sharpen blades about 3 times per season.
 
Cool Season Grasses of Minnesota
 
Kentucky Bluegrass                : 2.5 to 3 inches (60-75 mm)
 
Perennial Ryegrass                : 2.5 to 3 inches(60-75mm)
 
Tall Fescue                             : 2.5 to 4 inches (60-100 mm)
 
 
 
Warm Season Grasses of Southern State
 
Common bermuda                  : 0.75 to 1.25 inches ( 20-
 
30mm)
 
Hybrid bermuda                      : 0.5 to 1.0 inches (12-25 mm)
 
St. Augustine                          : 2.0 to 4 inches ( 50-100 mm)
 
Zoysiagrass                            : 1 to 2.5 inches (25-60 mm)
 
Centipede grass                     : 1.0 to 2.0 inches ( 25-50 mm)
 
 
 
Following these four tips are sure to help your lawn grow green and healthy.  Keeping up with regular
 
maintenance or your lawn will also make your neighbors envy your lawn and seek your advice to help
 
turn their lawn around.