Timing your lawn care is an essential part of maximizing the growth and making the most out of your hard labor. If you want an attractive and healthy lawn, you can’t do any type of yard work, whenever you want.
You need to strategically time certain parts of your lawn maintenance, so you receive the many fruits of your labor. Having a lawn care calendar is a great way to ensure you get it right every time. We understand the importance of having a region-specific calendar, so that is why we created this Minnesota lawn care schedule 2020 guide.
Understanding Seasonal Plant Growth
Before we dive into the meat and potatoes, it’s crucial to understand how the different seasons affect the growth cycle of plants. During the spring, roots are long, and they have plenty of nutrients stored from the long fall and winter season. Shoots are part of the grass that sticks out above the ground; these use that energy storage to grow in the spring.
When the weather heats up during the late spring and summer, the root growth starts to slow down, and plants are less active during excessive heat and periods of drought. This factor means that your plants and grass can get damaged if they’re exposed too long to soil temperatures higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
This type of hot temperature is what leads to brown and dead grass. It’s a common misconception that grass dies as a result of the sun’s rays, but it’s the hot soil temperature paired with lack of rainfall.
During the fall is when roots start growing again, and they build up nutrients to survive through the winter. Your grass grows the most when temperatures are between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind as you think about your lawn care calendar.
Lawn Care Maintenance Tips
Here are a few lawn care tips to keep in mind as you work your way through the month to month calendar:
- Never fertilize in the early months of spring. This mistake encourages the grass to grow when it shouldn’t, which will only lead to problems down the road.
- Don’t spray your weeds when temperatures are hot. Even though the weed killer says it doesn’t kill grass, your soil is dry and weak during this time, so it increases the chances of your lawn dying.
- Understand when you should water your lawn and when you shouldn’t. Mowing your grass too short also makes it more challenging to manage and maintain a bright and healthy color.
Monthly Lawn Care Calendar
Now that you understand a lot of the tips and tricks of maintaining a great lawn, let’s get into the month by month lawn care calendar.
January is generally one of the coldest months of the year, so you’ll want to focus on limiting the amount of damage you do to your lawn and preparing yourself for the upcoming thaw.
Limit the amount of rock salt and de-icing materials you use near your lawn. If you let the salt buildup on your grass and plants, it will cause irreversible damage that will impact your lawn even when the snow melts.
Now is a great time to get your mower and gardening tools ready for the spring. If you need to get something repaired, this is the time to send it out because they’re much less busy during the winter.
Do not allow vehicles to park on frozen grass because it will leave paths and tire marks when the snow melts. You should even try to prevent people from walking on the frozen grass as well.
If you have an opportunity during the thaw, test your soil to see if you need to make any early changes before spring rolls in. This month is also a great time to start flushing any problem areas with water to prevent further problems from occurring.
Locate areas damaged by salt or traffic and wash them out with plenty of water. This will clear the salt and imperfections from the area and help you get ahead of the game when spring rolls around.
Once the snow starts melting for good and the weather starts warming up, you’ll want to rake all leaves and debris from the grass. Now is also a good time to rake up all dead grass that will cause fungal lawn diseases, and you’ll provide more air circulation to the grass as well.
Apply soil amendments to improve lawn quality and make sure you check the results. Lawn moss is also popular this time of year, so you’ll want to treat that too.
It’s finally Spring on our month by month lawn care calendar, and now it’s time to get down to the good stuff. Here are some things you want to do right away when spring hits:
- Start mowing the top layer of grass, and don’t be afraid to cut low. Throw these trimmings out or bag them to help prevent fungal disease
- Apply herbicides to prevent weeds
- Fix brown spots
- Start seeding with a premium grass seed. April is one of the best months to start cool-weather seeding.
At this point, you’ll want to move the deck of your mower up a bit towards the recommended height, and you can leave the clippings on your lawn. Cut grass improves the soil and adds nutrients back into the ground.
Now is also a great time to start fertilizing your lawn according to your soil test. Make sure to use the highest-quality materials that are good for the environment.
Now your lawn needs water, make sure you give plenty. Established lawns need to receive one inch of water per week along with rainfall. The amount of water you need to supply your lawn will vary based on the conditions and your specific location.
Raise your mower deck to at least three inches. Higher blades encourage growth and help protect the soil from excessive heat.
This time of year is when the pests start to work their way out. Make sure to treat your lawn for grubs and keep an eye out for eggs. Continue to maintain a higher lawn through the summer because you will need it to prevent the grass from dying. Make sure you never remove more than one-third during a single mow.
August tends to be one of the hottest months of the year, so you’ll want to test the soil to make any upcoming corrections as the weather starts to cool down. Aerate any compacted soil and plan out Fall tasks as the cool-season starts to promote active grass growth.
Now is an excellent time to start overseeding your lawn, and you always want to do it for at least one month before the expected first frost. Towards the middle of August is a good time to think about this.
Cool temperatures and moisture make for ideal germination conditions, so be sure to keep the grass moist to promote growth.
Fertilize your grass in early fall at least a month and a half before the expected frost date. Your Minnesota lawn care schedule 2020 would expect you to fertilize in early September or even late August.
Spot treat areas of the lawn that never recovered from the harsh summer sun. Use weed and feed products but do not use them on seeded areas. Now you can start to work your blades back down to regular mowing height as the roots begin to grow bigger and stronger.
Add more soil amendments and test your lawn for the last time before winter. When you apply the modifications in the fall, it allows the work to happen over the winter.
Collect fallen leaves and mulch them if possible. This process will provide a lot of nutrients to the soil without suffocating it. Now you can start to reduce the amount of water you’re giving your lawn as well.
By this point, you shouldn’t have to mow your grass anymore. Ensure that your last mow is lower than usual to prevent damage and snow mold. You want the grass to enter the frost fully hydrated, so if temperatures are above freezing, you need to continue watering your lawn.
You’ve packed it in for the winter, and it’s time to start preparing for next year again. Clean and winterize your lawnmower and equipment. Keep an eye on your favorite gardening and landscaping blog for updates and more information.
This is the lawn care calendar midwest residents always needed. By now, you should have a thorough understanding of what to do with your grass every month of the year. It’s important to follow these guidelines because the lawn is often the first thing people notice when they pull up to your home.
A well-manicured lawn is an essential part of home maintenance, so make sure you give yours the tender loving care it needs!