Summer Lawn Care

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How To Care For Cool Season Lawns In Minnesota During The Summer Heat

How To Care For Cool Season Lawns In Minnesota During The Summer Heat

Once temperatures get into the 80s and above, lawns will begin to struggle a little, with cool-season grasses having the hardest time. Growth will slow, color may fade, and lawns will show signs of wear and tear as they are less able to recover from stress and traffic. Some cool-season lawns will even go dormant in the summer, looking brown and brittle until early fall.

Water Wisely

  • Lawns need at least one inch of water per week, and more when the heat is severe. Use a rain gauge or straight-sided can to keep track of the amount of water received from rainfall and irrigation.
  • Water deeply and less frequently to encourage drought-tolerant roots.
  • Water early in the day to reduce evaporation and fungal growth.
  • Either water your lawn regularly and deeply, or don’t water at all. Don’t let your lawn go brown and dormant, then try to “water it back to life.” If your lawn goes dormant in summer, it should stay that way until fall – don’t worry, it should recover once the weather changes.

Mowing Tips

  • Raise your mower blade in the summer. Taller grass is more drought-tolerant, grows deeper roots, and helps shade the earth to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Cool-season grasses should be mowed at 3”- 4” during the summer, or as high as your blade will go, while warm-season grasses should be mowed at 2”- 3”.
  • Mulching grass clippings helps keep moisture levels steady.
  • Mow regularly, to prevent cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. This keeps your grass healthier and prevents the clippings from smothering the grass.
  • Keep mower blades sharp. Make sure your mower is cutting your grass, not tearing it, to minimize stress during hot temperatures.

Don’t Over Fertilize

If your lawn is looking straggly in midsummer, resist the urge to fertilize. In fact, it’s best to stop fertilizing about 30 days before your area’s summer temperatures arrive. Applying extra fertilizer in the heat of summer can burn your lawn and create a flush of tender growth that will struggle in the hot summer weather. Never fertilize dormant lawns – wait until they green up in the fall.

High-Traffic Areas

By summer, many lawns begin to show signs of wear, especially in a few popular pathways. Consider installing stepping stones to minimize damage to your grass, and try to minimize traffic on dormant, brittle lawns. If you’re getting plenty of rainfall and your lawn is actively growing, you can apply a bit of fertilizer to these areas to help the blades recover faster.

Control Weeds

Summer is the season to get those growing weeds removed before they bloom and disperse seed for next year. Targeted postemergent herbicides are designed to kill broadleaf weeds without harming turf grass, but they must be applied when temperatures will be below 85° F for a few days. Keep in mind that during the heat of summer, ANY product can be damaging to already-stressed lawn grasses, so use sparingly or hand-pull weeds instead.

Insects and Diseases

  • Dormant or drought-stressed summer lawns can be more susceptible to insect infestations, such as chinch bugs, cutworms, armyworms, sod webworms, fire ants, fleas, and mosquitoes. Minor infestations often take care of themselves, but severe problems may require attention.
  • Summer is also the time for fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew and brown patch. Apply fungicide if needed, and avoid watering in the evening to keep nighttime moisture at a minimum.
  • Grubs will begin hatching in your lawn over the summer. If grubs typically cause problems in your lawn, you can begin applying grub control around midsummer.

 

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.