Minneapolis has had a particularly harsh winter this year, and if you’re not fond of that chill, you can’t wait for spring’s warm embrace. A lot of Minneapolis gardeners want to get back outside and tend to our gardens and flowers. Once the snow and ice thaw, these early spring lawn care tips will help you get to work and get your yard and garden ready for the season in Minneapolis.
Spring lawn care requires that before you do anything, you should dethatch your yard. Over the winter layers of grass clippings, dead grass blades and other organic matter build up into an interwoven mass under the grass and can prevent fertilizers and water from penetrating the soil. This can lead to bare spots and a host of problems for your yard. Thankfully dethatching is pretty easy and can reduce those bare patches and give you a healthy lawn. While there are fancy dethatching machines you can purchase, for small sections of lawn all you need is a metal rake to loosen the thatch.
Now’s the time to attack those weeds — before they sprout! A lot of weed seeds overwinter in the cool-season grasses — they types of grasses that thrive in Minnesota. The weeds lie in wait for the warmth of spring to bring them to life. It’s best to use a pre-emptive strike and prevent the weeds from sprouting by applying pre-emergent herbicides. Read the directions to see how often applications are needed.
Aerating your yard is another way of removing thatch and loosen up the soil to allow the grass to breathe. This reduces soil compaction, water runoff, pooling, and lets fertilizers and water gets down deep into the roots to green up your lawn. If you plant new grass seed in your bare spots, aerating will give the seeds room to grow. It’s best to aerate in the fall, but if you didn’t, you want to do it as soon as possible.
Clean Out The Gutters
Get up on the roof and inspect those gutters for leaves and clogs. Even if you did it in the fall, gutters can still catch a lot of debris throughout the winter. Gutters are often a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other lawn pests.
Prep Your Lawnmower
Your lawnmower is your workhorse that’s going to be keeping your grass beautiful all summer, so you better make sure it’s in top working order. Give it a tuneup: Check the oil, change the air filter and spark plugs, and don’t forget to sharpen your blades. Dull blades can ruin your grass.
Dewinterize Your Sprinkler System
If you own a sprinkler system, then you (hopefully) winterized it before the first frost. If you didn’t then you probably have much bigger problems on your hands.
Locate your system’s power box and check to make sure all the valves are working and sprinkler heads are operating correctly. You also want to make sure no pipes froze and broke over the winter.
Prune Trees and Shrubs
Prune branches when buds start to appear. This will strong, healthy growth into the fall. Apply fertilizer and mulch around the base of your trees and aerate if necessary. Any plants that were planted last year should be watered regularly.
Now that your yard is cleaned up and ready for spring it’s time to start thinking about a lawn care schedule. Get ahead of your friends and neighbors by setting up regular service without all the hassle. Visit our Minneapolis lawn care page and we can help you get your yard ready for spring.