If you’re like most homeowners in the Twin Cities, one of your favorite things about summer is the ability to enjoy a lush, green lawn at your home. Lawn care might be one of the most time consuming tasks of the spring and summer, but when it’s done right, the results are more than worth the effort.
Unfortunately, many Minnesota homeowners don’t really know what they’re doing when they’re trying to grow their lawn, leading to mistakes that keep the lawn from reaching its full potential. The good news is that if you do take the time to learn a few basic tips, such as proper fertilization and aeration, you can make your home’s yard one of the best in your neighborhood. These tips can really make a difference!
By now, most home owners know that using fertilizer is an important part of proper lawn care. However, using too much fertilizer can be just as harmful to your grass as using too little. If you’re putting fertilizer on your lawn every two weeks, for example, you’re going to end up with dead grass and a royal mess of a lawn when all is said and done.
With most grass, you’ll want to fertilize four times a year, and usually do so every six to eight weeks. If you’re growing a brand-new lawn or installing grass seeds that are not native to the Twin Cities, your fertilization schedule should include more frequent treatments, while older lawns can go longer without fertilizer. You’ll also want to check the weather before fertilizing the lawn, as a rainstorm can result in your treatments washing right off your lawn.
Your lawn depends on air and water penetrating the soil and getting nutrients to its roots. When soil gets compacted, grass seed dies for lack of nutrients. Aeration is an excellent solution because it can solve the problem of compacted soil and allow oxygen and water to reach grass seed at the root.
However, aeration at the wrong time can cause real problems. To aerate properly, you need to make sure that your lawn is moist and that your grass is active, such as early spring or late summer. If you aerate at a time when grass isn’t growing, you’ll only make the situation worse.
Unless you’re working for the Twins at Target Field, you really don’t want to mow your lawn too short. That’s the worst lawn care mistake to make, because it prevents the process of photosynthesis. When grass can’t make the food it needs, the effects are as bad as the compacted soil you’re trying to prevent with aeration. Instead, do yourself and your lawn a favor and mow to three to four inches high.
By providing the right amount of lawn care at the right time, you’ll get the most out of your Twin Cities area lawn. In some areas, this really is a case of less is more!