Winter Lawn Care Tips for Minneapolis, MN Homeowners
In the winter, Minneapolis (and its “twin,” St. Paul) is the coldest major metropolitan area in the U.S. In January, the average low is 8 degrees; the average high 24 degrees. The average yearly snowfall is 55 inches—more than double the average for the whole country.
So there you are, cold and, if you aren’t snowed in now, you will be. Unless you’re a skier or ice skater or snow sculptor, you might be home, warm and cozy, rooting for the Timberwolves or Minnesota Wild and daydreaming about the arrival of spring and the warm, long days of summer. You might even be picturing a time when your lawn is green and growing again.
Your lawn is also tucked away (in its case, dormant), waiting for spring. You deal with winter; your lawn deals with winter. But your lawn needs your help to ensure that it wakes up ready to go in the spring.
Photo: Flickr / Peter Fleck
Check out these tips below for a few easy ways to get the most out of your winter lawn care:
- Start in the fall to prepare your lawn for its long winter’s sleep.
- Keep your grass about two inches tall. Longer may cause matting and make the grass susceptible to diseases such as snow mold. Shorter and it will not be able to manufacture and store the food that it needs for the dormant months ahead.
- Fertilize the lawn one last time before the first freeze. Your grass will store away the nutrients it needs to green up in the spring.
- Spot treat weeds.
- Water your lawn until the ground freezes
- Don’t prune bushes in the fall. You’ll be in danger of arresting new growth and interfering with budding in the spring.
- Once the long, cold winter descends, don’t neglect your lawn. If you do, it will get its revenge in the spring.
- You wouldn’t dream of having “junk” on your lawn in the summer. Give it the same respect in the winter. Keep the assorted debris, abandoned bicycles, errant lawn furniture off the lawn, or you’ll see large dead spots in the spring.
- Also, the same as in the summer, don’t walk on the grass. You might feel as though you’re walking on snow and ice, but those winter boots are stomping your grass to death. Clear paths around your house so that your family and guests have a safe passageway and won’t be tempted to take a shortcut across the lawn. Do we need to include keep vehicles off the lawn? I didn’t think so.
- You need to rake if you have leaves on the lawn. Sure, it’s cold; you’d rather stay inside, but it won’t take long and your grass will green up nicely in the spring while your non-raking neighbors will wonder why.
- If you have young trees and plants, you need to tuck them away from the cold and ice with small blankets or burlap.
- To make sure that your hose is ready to go in the spring, drain all the water from it and store it, properly wound, in a dry area to keep it from cracking in the freezing temperatures.
- It is an absolute must that you winterize your sprinklers or irrigation systems. Otherwise, you are inviting a lot of problems that cost a lot of money.
Have questions about winter lawn care? Visit our Minneapolis lawn care page or share your thoughts in the comments section below.