Maintaining an attractive, well-kept lawn can seem daunting and time-consuming. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep your lawn in the best shape possible. If done consistently, these methods can make the process a lot easier — and your lawn much healthier — over time.
For optimal lawn health, you should add fertilizer multiple times a year. The best time to fertilize lawn in MN is in the early spring. Then, applications should be repeated throughout the growing season. When choosing a fertilizer, be sure to check the three numbers on the bag before you purchase it. These numbers indicate the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the product. The ideal ratio is 3:1:2 (nitrogen should be the highest). Choose a mixture that allows the nutrients to be released over a few weeks: 30-50% for a slow-release fertilizer, and 70-50% for fast-release.
2. Controlling Weeds
If you have problems with weeds in your lawn, some simple tweaks such as changing the height of your mower, or adjusting your watering schedule, can help keep them at bay. You can also pull them by hand if your weeds aren’t too out of control. If none of these options help, chemical herbicides can help remove stubborn weeds. There are different types of herbicides for the type of weed, so be sure to choose an option that’s tailored to your lawn and specific weed problem.
For optimal lawn health, and to decompress overly-impacted soil, it’s important to aerate and de-thatch your lawn once year. You can hire a pro, or do it yourself with a lawn aerator (your own or rented) with half-inch diameter tines. You’ll want eight plugs per square foot, each one at a depth of 3 inches.
The amount of water your lawn needs depends on the grass variety and weather, but a good rule of thumb is 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, and up to 2 inches during the hottest, driest days of summer. To find out how much water per hour your sprinkler produces, set out some containers on your lawn and let the sprinkler run for 20 minutes. Then, multiply the depth of the collected water and multiply by three. The time of day also makes a difference and is a key water-saving strategy. The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning or late evening, to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
Especially during the hottest days of summer, keeping your mower blades at the highest possible height can be really beneficial for your lawn. 3 inches or above is optimal. Mowing in a different direction and pattern than the previous time can also help your lawn grow more evenly. Avoid mowing a wet lawn, as this can cause damage your mower blades.
By taking these important steps to maintain your lawn, and if you do them regularly, your lawn will have the ingredients and care it needs to thrive all summer long.