05 Sep Lawn Care Like A Minnesotan: Winterize Your Yard The Right Way
Like the trees and bushes that grow in your yard, your lawn is a living organism that needs to be tended to year round. We all know what Minnesota winters are like, and even though the harsh climate is tough on us – imagine how your grass feels.
Now that autumn has come upon the Gopher state, it’s time to prepare your lawn for winter. Fall is when your grass plant will build its nutritional reserves so it can grow strong again next summer. Because of this, the way you winterize your lawn is at the utmost important when trying to maintain healthy grass all year long and into the next. Looking for a full fall checklist? We have you covered at that link.
There are certain aspects to mowing your lawn in the autumn that you need to know about. Mowing your grass too short in the cold weather of fall will damage your lawn. When the cool weather arrives in Minnesota, lift your mower height up about a half inch from the height you were mowing in the summer. This is very important in maintaining a lush lawn during the summer months, as it will stimulate stunded grass roots.
When you’re preparing for your final mow of the year, lower the mower height to a half inch below your summer mowing height (about one inch less than the previous mow). This prepares your lawn for winter by protecting it from diseases and bacteria. If you have the ability, grass clippings should be left on the lawn to provide nutrients and protect the crowns of the grass plants.
Autumn is the best time to fertilize your lawn. During the nippier days of the fall months, your grass will slow down growth to store nutrients and protect itself for the harsh winter months ahead. For as long as your yard is green, it is actively packing away the fuel it needs to grow strong next year. How much the plant can stow will determine the health and quality of your lawn for next year.
Undoubtedly, you fertilized your lawn this summer, but that just isn’t enough. By late September, early October, that fertilizer has run its course, and the grass needs to be refueled. Fall fertilization for your lawn is especially important in thickening grass roots and protecting it from disease.
Fall aeration goes hand in hand with fertilization, and it is often disregarded as an important step in winterizing your lawn. Aerating your lawn will decrease soil compaction, remove excess thatch and give your grass some breathing room to grow strong. Through aeration, not only will the fertilizer be able to reach the roots more easily, sunlight, water and oxygen can better reach the soil to improve nutritional value and overall health.
What would autumn in Minneapolis be like without the leaves changing and tumbling down to the ground? Not an autumn I want to be a part of. But, with the beauty comes the unavoidable duty of raking up all those maple and oak leaves. If you rake, make sure you aren’t leaving excess piles on your yard, blocking sunlight. If you want a quick and easy mulch – take your mower, and go for a spin in your yard with the blades at full speed. Make sure you don’t over mulch, though. Large piles of leaves do not break down quickly, so it will block sunlight and suffocate your lawn.
Don’t forget to prune your bushes, shrubs, and perennials back this fall. We have some tips and tricks for fall bush trimming so be sure to check those out.
If you’re in the market for fall lawn care services near Minneapolis, or need help preparing your yard for winter, then don’t hesitate to give the landscaping experts at KG Landscape a call today! Our dedicated staff is on-call, ready to help you beautify your home.