Spring Lawn Care Tips

Lawn Care Tips for Spring in Minnesota

As we come out of yet another Upper Midwest winter and start to look to spring, preparing a game plan before the season is in full swing will set your outdoor space up for success. Even if it’s too early to mow, you shouldn’t stay inside and hope your lawn blooms perfectly. Instead, follow these lawn care tips to ready your yard for spring in Minnesota.

Raking and Removing Thatch

green stuff rake

Although raking is synonymous with fall, you’ll need to break out the rake before plant life blooms. You may find a layer of leaves that hid under the snow all winter long. Think of it like spring cleaning for your yard. Leaves aren’t the only reason to give your lawn a good combing. Thatch, the layer of dead grass that lies between grass blades, builds up over time. 

You never want more than a half an inch of thatch on your lawn, and raking helps to get rid of the mess. Be sure to dig deeply into the grass so you reach all of the thatch. Your rake also helps to break up clumps of grass that have stuck together.

Look for Compaction, Prepare for Aeration

If you frequently host get-togethers on your lawn, the high traffic may compact the soil below. Unfortunately, excessive pressure is detrimental to your lawn. Take some time to look over your lawn for any signs of moss. It is a telltale signal that the soil is compacted. 

When your soil is too dense, grass roots have no room to spread into the ground. Without healthy roots, the circulation of water, air and nutrients slows down. Lawn aeration repairs the soil, and it’s easy to do yourself, or you can hire professionals. Take action by visiting a home supplies store to rent a lawn aerator or you can request a free quote from Green Stuff Lawn to have one of our team members core aerate your Twin Cities-based yard. Whether you do it yourself or bring in a professional, aerators break apart dense soil, giving your lawn a breath of fresh air.

Think About Fertilizing

It’s best to take a light approach to fertilization in the spring. The types of cool-season grasses commonly found in Minnesota benefit more from fertilizer in the fall than the spring. 

Over-fertilizing now creates a breeding ground for weeds later on. If you have unsightly patches of brown grass on your lawn, you may want to consider limited fertilization. Compost and mulching mowers can be used to organically fertilize your lawn. For even more convenience and control, think about getting professional lawn fertilization services. You’ll be able to simply enjoy your lawn knowing it will thrive all summer long.

Get a Step Ahead of Crabgrass

green stuff crab grass

Many Minnesota homeowners know how difficult it can be to get rid of crabgrass once it appears in parts of their lawn. If you’re aware that your yard has a crabgrass problem, get proactive to inhibit this weed from spreading. Utilize pre-emergent herbicides to give your lawn an extra layer of protection. Living up to its name, this type of herbicide takes care of the problem before it starts and creates a barrier between the air and seedlings. Weed germination cannot occur in this type of environment.

Waging War on Weeds

Plan your attack. Playing the theme music to “Star Wars” and running at your lawn with a weed whacker may sound like fun, but it will unfortunately be ineffective. Start with assessing the state of your lawn. Not all weeds are created equal and different kinds of weeds require different treatments. This tool, from the University of Minnesota, is great for helping to identify the kinds of weeds that have run amok on your lawn.

After you’ve identified the weeds in your lawn, choose your tools and ammunition. Here are a few general items to keep in mind for your strategy:

  • Water your lawn before pulling out weeds. If you are going to physically remove your weeds, victory is easier and more effective if the soil is moist. You will successfully pull out entire plants — with root systems — if the ground has a bit of give to it.
  • Never mow your lawn too short. The shorter your grass, the easier it is for weeds to take over the surrounding area. Longer grass will improve root growth, leaving less room for weeds to take hold of the soil later in the season.
  • If you compost your weeds, let them dry out or put them on a hot compost pile for a couple weeks. You worked very hard to defeat those weeds, don’t give them an easy way to sneak back into your territory.

When to Mow Your Minnesota Lawn in Spring

Your lawn should be at least 3 to 4 inches long before mowing for the first time of the season and you shouldn’t mow more than a third of its length. The best time for the first mow of the season is usually in late April, according to the University of Minnesota.

Since Minnesota lawns consist of cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescue, you can expect to see a lot of growth in the spring, once it reaches 60 degrees outside.

Take Charge of Your Lawn This Spring 

 It’s better to spot and deal with problems early than to deal with the consequences when things get worse. Minnesotans have to put up with harsh winters, so green lawns in spring are something we all can look forward to. Give your lawn the care it needs to flourish as the weather warms up.

Still not sure what’s best for your yard? Contact Green Stuff Lawn. We offer a range of professional services and can help make your yard into an outdoor oasis you’ll be proud of.