Seeding

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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.

April Lawn Cares Tips For A Beautiful Lawn This Spring

April Lawn Cares Tips For A Beautiful Lawn This Spring

For the most part, the snow is gone and problem spots in your lawn are starting to surface.  Right now is the time to start preparing your lawn for the upcoming spring and summer season.

Here are 5 tips that will help you get ahead of lawn care issues that could possibly ruin your lawn.

Dethatch

Dethatching is by far one of the most important tasks you can complete this spring to give your lawn a head start.  Thatch is basically grass that has died off during the winter season and anything more than ½ inch of thatch in your lawn will suffocate your grass.

Dethatching is recommended early in the spring because it can be harsh on your lawn and dethatching later in the season can actually have negative effects on your lawn.  Therefore, dethatching early in the season gives your lawn ample time to recover properly.

Weed & Feed

Weeding and feeding your lawn in mid to late spring gives way for your lawn to flourish.  Weeding can be done by hand pulling the weeds to get the roots or you can spot spray weeds with chemicals.  But be careful, over-spraying your lawn with chemicals can cause stress to your lawn during the heat of summer.

Feeding your lawn in spring is done best with a slow-release fertilizer.  A slow-release fertilizer will seep deep into your soil as the ground thaws out, providing your lawn with nutrients from top to bottom.

Deal With Bare Spots

As your lawn starts to green, you may notice some bare or dead spots throughout your lawn.  If this happens, flush the spot with water, rake out the dead grass, level it out with sand and soil, plant some seed and water it vigorously.

Seed

Just like everything else, individual blades of grass die out and can leave your lawn looking thin.  Seeding your lawn early in the spring allows new blades of lawn to replace the dead ones and gives your lawn a thick, lush look and feel.

Watering

Water, water, water, but don’t overdo it!  Water is essential to any lawn and the best time to water your lawn is early in the morning.

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 Seeding Your Lawn in the Fall is Important

Why Seeding Your Lawn in the Fall is Important

Seeding your lawn is an important step to keeping your lawn green and healthy year after year.  Knowing how often and when you should seed your lawn helps your lawn maintain strong green blades with healthy roots for years to come.

 How Often Should You Seed Your Lawn?

Your lawn, like everything else in this world, is not immortal and as old grass dies, new seeds need to be planted to take their place.  Generally speaking, about every 4 or 5 years the grass in your lawn begins to get brittle and die off. 

You can tell which lawns have not been seeded in a while by looking for the thickness of the lawn.  If you notice your lawn starting to thin out, you should consider applying an application of seed.

When Should You Seed Your Lawn?

Being in Minnesota, we have cool season grass that strives during cooler, darker months that produce heavier dew, making fall the best time to seed your lawn.  Seeding in fall well before the ground freezes gives seeds the opportunity to settle deep into the soil and plant its roots. 

Furthermore, seeding in the fall is ideal because spring seeding gives unwanted crabgrass the opportunity to germinate and take over your lawn.

What Type of Lawn Seed Should You Use?

In Minnesota, due to our cooler temperatures, planting cool season lawn seeds in the fall is recommended.  Cool season lawn seeds strive in environments where temperatures hit below freezing and grow during the fall and spring season and go dormant in the summer heat.

Applying the right type of seed at the right time of the year can be the difference between a dying lawn and a healthy lawn. 

What to do for Best Fall Lawn Care Results

What to do for Best Fall Lawn Care Results

Fall is the most critical time to pay attention to your lawn because what you do now will determine how healthy your lawn will be come next spring and summer.  For the best fall lawn care results you should do your best to complete the following tasks in order.

Aeration

lawn-aerationAerating your lawn early during the fall season is the first step you should take for a healthy yard through the winter and into the spring.  Aeration encourages good root development before the upcoming winter by loosening compacted soil to create a better growing environment for your lawn. 

You want to aerate your lawn early enough in the fall when the air starts to cool but also while the soil temperatures remain warm.  This will allow the soil in your lawn to de-compact and allows your lawn to absorb water and nutrients before the snow starts to fall and the ground begins to freeze.

Seeding

seeding-lawnNext, you will want to apply seed to your lawn before temperatures get too cold so it has a chance to get deep in the soil.  It is recommended that you apply new seed to your lawn about every 4 or 5 years because, just like everything else in this world, your lawn is not immortal.  After 4 or 5 years your lawn will slow down its reproduction rate which gives an environment for weeds to take over your lawn.

You can tell the difference in lawns that have been seeded every 4 or 5 years by their thickness.  Well seeded lawns will reproduce healthier, thicker, greener lawns for years to come.  Plus, well seeded lawns look professionally maintained, even if they’re not, and helps your lawn maintain its health.

Fertilizer

fall-fertilizerOnce the new seed has been down and has had a chance to dig deep into the soil, it is time to feed it!  A slow release fertilizer is essential in Minnesota because once the snow falls you will have to wait months before you can do anything with it again.  A slow release fertilizer will ensure that your lawn receives the nutrients it needs through the winter to give your grass the strong deep roots it needs to be healthy.

When choosing a fertilizer for the fall, besides using a slow release fertilizer, you will want to make sure it contains nitrogen.  A high nitrogen fertilizer such as a 25-5-5 will promote lawn blade and foliage growth to help your lawn look greener for the upcoming season.

Leaf Raking

Fall Leaf Clean Up MNBy now, the leaves should be falling off the trees and its time for the most labor intensive job of the year, raking leaves. It’s not a fun job but somebody has to do it because your lawn needs to breath and a lawn covered in leaves and snow will simply suffocate and leave you with a mud pit once the snow melts.

There are several ways one can “rake up” the leaves from their lawn.  If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always hire a professional service.  If you don’t want to hire a professional service, you can grab the rake and leaves and manually rake up all the leaves yourself.  Alternatively, you can run your lawn mower over your lawn and either mulch the leaves into the ground or use a bagging system on your mower to bag your leaves.

Winterize Lawn Fertilizer

winterize-lawnThe final step to preparing your lawn for the cold months ahead is to winterize your lawn with fertilizer.  This application of fertilizer, unlike early fall fertilizer, should contain a higher level of potassium.  Potassium promotes a cellular level that strengthens and hardens plants from top to bottom that makes them more tolerant to cold Minnesota winters.  Potassium also helps your lawn absorb nutrients which balances the feeding of your lawn.

If you follow the fall lawn care steps in the order listed above, your lawn will survive the winter and be ready to sprout once the snow is gone and the temperatures warm up.  Peter Doran Lawn is a year round, full service lawn care company based in Minneapolis, MN.  If you need help with any of your fall lawn care needs, we are here to help.  Simply request a free estimate and we will be in contact shortly.