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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.

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.

Spring Is Coming… We Promise

Spring Is Coming… We Promise

It’s the middle of April and winter continues to drag on with another blast of snow in the forecast for this weekend.  If you are like us, you are hoping this weekend’s cold, wintry weather is the last of the season because enough is enough already!

Once this winter officially comes to an end, you will finally be able to get out on your lawn and in your gardens to get them ready for the upcoming season.  Just imagine, the smell of spring right around the corner with flower blooming and kids finally being able to get outside and play in the yard.

However, if you really want your yard to be safe to play in throughout the year, you should consider completing a few early spring maintenance choirs.

Dethatching

Dethatching will rid your lawn of dead blades of grass which will reduce the chance of disease in your lawn.  Dethatching also keeps dead blades of grass from soaking up nutrients that the rest of your lawn needs to grow.

Seeding

Spring is the perfect time to spread new seed throughout your lawn.  As your lawn ages and blades of grass die off, new seed will replace the dead seeds and help your lawn keep its thickness and health throughout the year.

By completing the two simple tasks above, your lawn will be off to the healthiest start it has been for many years.

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.

Why Aerate Your Lawn?

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.

Why Aeration and Overseeding Are A Must In The Fall

Why Aeration and Overseeding Are A Must In The Fall

It’s hard to imagine but before you know it summer will be gone and the leaves will start to fall.  All those water fights and baseball practices in the back yard were fun but they also caused a lot of wear and tear to your yards grass and soil.

We often don’t think about “wear and tear” on our lawns but the fact is all those summer activities have compacted your soil torn some of your weakened grass’s roots from the soil.  As fall approaches, the warmer days and cooler nights provide just enough moisture in the ground that make it optimal for you to help your lawn heal itself.

Aeration

Aeration is important because it de-compacts the soil.  Putting all those little holes in the ground allows air, water and food to reach the roots and allows the roots to grow deeper into the soil.  Furthermore, aeration makes the lawn less susceptible weeds, insects, drought and disease.

Overseeding

Overseeding is important because your lawn is not invincible!  Overtime, individual blades of grass grow weaker and eventually die off.  Overseeding promotes the growth of new blades of grass and helps your lawn maintain its fullness and thickness year after year.  A fuller and thicker lawn also helps keep unwanted weeds from popping up in your lawn come spring.

Aerating and Overseeding?

Yes, aerating and overseeding go hand in hand.  Aeration punches the holes in the ground so the overseed can penetrate deep into the soil and grow deep healthy roots.  You should aerate your lawn every fall and overseed at least once every three years to keep your lawn healthy.

If your lawn is starting to look bare, ask yourself, when was the last time I had my lawn aerated and overseeded?  If it has been over that 3 year mark, you really should consider getting done this fall.  That is, if you want a healthy lawn come next spring.

At Peter Doran Lawn and Landscaping, when the leaves start to fall the phones start to ring.  Ensure you get on our schedule early enough by giving us a call now at (763) 315-0052 or fill out our online free estimate form.