Lawn Care And Water Quality
Since 1993, the MDA, in cooperation with other organizations, has gathered information on homeowner use of pesticides and fertilizers. Educational materials have been developed to promote public awareness of lawn practices and their potential to affect water quality. These educational materials incorporate the concept that everyone lives in a watershed and has opportunities to protect the quality of Minnesotas water during their work, home, and recreational activities.
To protect water quality, using phosphorus fertilizer on lawns is restricted in Minnesota. Look for the zero in the middle and use a lawn fertilizer labeled phosphorus-free unless you are seeding a new lawn, or have a soil test showing phosphorus is needed.
In 2002 Minnesota became the first state in the nation to regulate phosphorus fertilizer use on lawns and turf. Phosphorus is a nutrient that can cause over-enrichment of lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Phosphorus fertilizer cannot be used on lawns and turf in Minnesota unless specific conditions exist. Leftover phosphorus lawn fertilizer must be handled properly.
There’s A Reason Why November Is The Right Time
Kelly Burke is a professional turf manager for a manicured corporate campus in New England. He is accredited in organic land care and is a licensed pesticide applicator. He formerly managed the turfgrass as a golf course superintendent and has held several senior management positions at private country clubs overseeing high maintenance lawns.
- Working Time: 1 – 2 hrs
- Total Time: 1 – 2 hrs
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $50
Keep your lawn or garden healthy before it goes into a period of winter dormancy with an application of fertilizer in the late fall. This is the time when cool-season grasses recover from summer stresses. And turfgrass can begin to store carbohydrate reserves in the stems, rhizomes, and stolons. These carbohydrate reserves help grass resist winter injury and disease, and they serve as an energy source for growth the following spring.
Late-fall fertilization will also provide:
- Better winter color
- Replenished soil in depleted garden beds
How To Apply Fertilizer
Once you have chosen the fertilizer that best suits your lawn, its time to apply it. There are two types of spreaders that are most commonly used with granular fertilizers: a broadcast spreader and drop spreader. A broadcast spreader covers a larger area at one time spreading the granules over a larger area. The drop spreader is made to be more precise and controllable but does not spread over larger areas. Both spreaders are made to be pushed in front of you while you walk behind. Both spreaders are equally useful, so find which one is right for you!
Liquid fertilizers can be done with a handheld, hose-end applicator. They typically are harder to apply correctly on lawns and require more refilling so it is important to be comfortable with fertilizers before applying a liquid fertilizer to your lawn.
Also, try to follow a pattern when applying your fertilizer so your lawn gets an equal application, Do this by spreading the fertilizer around the perimeter of your lawn first and then, at a normal walking speed, spread the fertilizer back and forth between the edges that were just done.
Overall, fertilizer application is essential to keeping your lawn healthy and green all season long. If you find that you want to take the guess work out of the applications, give us a call for a free estimate to help you with all you lawn care needs.
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How To Care For Cool Season Lawns In Minnesota During The Summer Heat
Once temperatures get into the 80s and above, lawns will begin to struggle a little, with cool-season grasses having the hardest time. Growth will slow, color may fade, and lawns will show signs of wear and tear as they are less able to recover from stress and traffic. Some cool-season lawns will even go dormant in the summer, looking brown and brittle until early fall.
Minnesota Lawn Fertilization Schedule
Warners lawn care experts understand that every lawn is different. Thats why weve developed a wide range of fertilizer and weed killer treatment programs for our customers. You can choose from our Gold Package , our Silver Package , or our Bronze Package . We can also develop a custom package designed specifically for your lawn. It will be designed for your needs only, and maybe the most cost-effective package for you. Ask us about our commercial fertilizing services.
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New Lawn Care Guidelines
Whether you lavish care on your lawn or ignore it, there’s no escaping this fact: To look good, grass needs to be fertilized.
Fertilizing not only makes grass green, it’s also a green thing to do. Healthy, well-fed grass develops dense roots that hold the soil, preventing it from running off your yard and polluting the water.
But for fertilizer to benefit the grass and the environment, it needs to be applied correctly.
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to keep fertilizer off sidewalks, driveways and streets, where it can run off and pollute streams, rivers and lakes. But you may not know that timing plays a key role in keeping fertilizer on our lawns and out of our lakes.
Fertilize in early fall
Without a doubt, early fall is the best time to fertilize. That’s because most of the fertilizer applied on or around Labor Day goes straight into the grass. In the past, a second, later application — in early November — also was recommended. It was thought that this second application helped grass to green up earlier in the spring. But new research from the University of Minnesota casts doubt on that practice.
The research is behind new guidelines about how and when to fertilize. But there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. When and how you should fertilize depends on whether or not you irrigate your lawn and the quality of the soil.
Here are some fertilizing schedules to follow if:
Type of fertilizer
Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every Two Weeks
Overfeeding is very bad for your lawn. Fertilizing your lawn every two weeks is like overfeeding. You will not get any benefit from it otherwise it can be damaging the environment. For best results, apply fertilizer once or twice a year, its enough to keep your grass green and healthy. The key is to fertilize during the period when the grasses are growing most.
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How Often To Fertilize Lawn
Over-fertilizing is a thing. If once a year is right for your lawn, stick with that and dont get carried away. Fertilizer can be a valuable tool to keep a lawn healthy, dense and looking great, but it can also create environmental concerns if not used responsibly. Follow the label instructions on your fertilizer as each product has unique specifications and needs.
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How Do I Treat My Lawn In September
Mow less frequently during autumn, and raise the height of cut as the growth rate of the grass slows down. This will help the lawn to withstand the last of the warm, dry weather, and also keep it resistant to treading as the wet weather arrives.
Is it too late to fertilize my lawn in October?
Apply fall lawn fertilizer 2 to 3 weeks before the ground freezes. To find an exact date, look for the first frost date in your area. That date is typically a good time to fertilize since the ground hasnt frozen yet. More generally, mid-October is a good time to apply lawn fertilizer.
Should I fertilize my lawn in October?
Fall is the best and most important time to fertilize your lawn because: Falls morning dew delivers moisture to help turf absorb the fertilizer. The grass has a chance to build stamina before a chilly winter. Supporting root growth in fall leads to a healthier, greener lawn in spring.
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Best Time To Fertilize Lawn
Fertilizing in the morning allows the soil to take in the most nutrients, soak in the morning dew and take advantage of cooler temperatures. Thats the best time. Do not apply fertilizer on an abnormally hot day, not even in the morning. Wait until the weather cools back down to a normal temperature.
You can mow anytime after fertilizing with a granular treatment. With a liquid treatment, wait a day or two.
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The More You Know The More Your Grass Will Grow Here Are The Best Ways To Maximize Your Lawn Fertilization Schedule
Understanding when and how to fertilize your lawn is a major component to maintaining a healthy, lush yard. Fertilizers give your lawn a healthier root system while eating up unhealthy nutrients. With some simple steps, youll be on your way to having a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood.
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What Fertilizer To Use
There are many fertilizers available, so sometimes it can be difficult to select the right one. For late summer and early fall application, you should use a fertilizer that delivers its nitrogen in slow-release form. It can also be labeled as water-insoluble or controlled-release fertilizer. These are more effective in providing the nutrients required at the correct rate for late summer and fall. You may also want to consider a fertilizer that is specialized for the crops you are growing.
Bonus: You can also build soil fertility by adding compost. Compost can help improve the fertility and texture of the soil. Just add 1 to 2 inches to the top of the soil and work it in about 6-8 inches.
See our Garden Maintenance Schedule to learn more about when you should fertilize your lawn and garden!
What Fertilizer Should You Use
In order for grass to grow properly it needs three different nutrients: Nitrogen , Phosphorus , and Potassium . On fertilizer bags, you may see these marked as N, P, or K. The best way to determine what nutrients your soil needs is to perform a soil test. These can be bought and done at home or, for more accurate results, can be sent to a lab in your area. Other factors in determining the right fertilizer would be what type of grass you have and when the fertilizer needs to be applied to your lawn in your gardening zone.
It is important to note that fertilizers may come in a liquid form or a granular form. Typically, liquid fertilizers absorb more quickly into the lawn whereas granular fertilizers release more slowly. Some granular fertilizers have an extended release which can disperse slowly over the growing season.
Fertilizers are also available in organic and synthetic forms. Organic fertilizers are naturally made from once living organisms whereas synthetic formulas are made from chemicals.
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Go For Slow Release Fertilizers
Synthetic fertilizers are usually of two types. Slow-release and quick release. Quick-release fertilizers go into action almost immediately after they are applied. Whereas, slow-release fertilizers work over a long period of time.
Asides that, slow-release fertilizers usually have a gentle impact on the turfgrass, and unlike quick release fertilizers, they pose minimal risk of burning to your grass.
Should You Fertilize Grass In The Summer
Summer is fast approaching, and for lawn owners, its engendering mixed feelings. For one, summer is show-off time. If youve been doing everything right since fall, then youll most likely want to show off your green and lush lawns.
Summer is also the time when most lawn owners want to up their game. They fear that their lawns might lose their shine due to the frequency of outdoor activities, parties and games that normally comes with the season.
Theres also the fear that unattractive brown patches might come due to the scorching summer sun. And so most times they want to keep fertilizing and feeding the lawn so that it continues to remain green and lush throughout summer.
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Consider The Kind Of Grass You Have
Not every grass is different. Many people have cool-season grass like Kentucky bluegrass, which experiences peak growth in the spring and the fall. In Minnesota, this is probably the kind of grass that you have.
Fertilizing this kind of grass in the fall is essential as the grassroots are better able to absorb it as it grows.
When To Schedule Lawn Maintenance
It is important to schedule your lawn care maintenance during times that match the life cycle of the turfgrass.
- Do not add fertilizer too early in the spring. This may encourage the grass to grow during a time when it should be slow or dormant.
- Do not spray to control weeds when temperatures are warm. This increases the likelihood of damaging the lawn.
- Do not fertilize in hot mid-summer months. This can cause irreversible damage to your lawn.
- Crabgrass doesn’t develop until late spring or early summer, so don’t apply herbicide used to prevent pre-emerging crabgrass in the fall.
See Water-saving strategies for home lawns for information on how and when to water.
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Fertilizing In Minnesota Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many applications are appropriate for a Minnesota lawn?
Fertilizing Lawns that are older then 35 years need on average 3 pounds of nitrogen per year, which can be accomplished in just 3-4 applications. Lawns that are usually less then 35 years old require 4-5 pounds of nitrogen per year which should be applied in 4-5 applications. Good results from fertilizing can be achieved with as little as 3 applications per year, however if you want outstanding results, 4-5 applications of fertilizer should be applied each season.
Annual pre-emergent weed control should be scheduled every year for the control of crabgrass and other annual weeds. Crabgrass is controlled by preventing the seeds from growing. As a result, this application needs to be done, on average, no later than May 20 each year. Because broadleaf weeds such as dandelions are not prevented but treated as they emerge, broadleaf weed treatment should be available with each application in case broadleaf weeds appear on the lawn.
2. What type is better liquid or granules?
The fact is your lawn doesnt know or care what form the fertilizer takes. The only way turf can absorb nitrogen and potassium fertilizer is through the roots. All fertilizers need to be watered to convert it into a solution that will soak into the soil and be absorbed by the roots. Neither liquid nor granule fertilizer activate until watered.
3. Do it yourself vs. hiring a professional can you afford to do it yourself?
Faqs On Fertilize Or Overseed First
When should you overseed?
It is better to overseed at least 6-8 weeks before the freezing time in your area.
Does overseeding actually work?
Yes, it works most of the time. However, for expected results, you are to plan well and take care patiently. The timing on the basis of your area also matters a lot. Other factors like soil condition, weed competition, etc. need consideration.
Do you need to aerate before overseeding?
It is not mandatory to aerate beforehand but many have reported that it works.
Can I Overseed Without Aerating First?
You can do it without aerating first but you should not ignore the importance of aeration.
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What Is The Best Frequency For Lawn Fertilization
The number of applications you need depends on your desired lawn care goals. For optimal results, we recommend our Gold Package , consisting of seven applications starting in early spring and going through late fall. However, not all lawns need that level of service. This is why we offer smaller and customized packages, along with individual applications. Call the experts at Warners today well figure out the best program for you!
How Often Should Minnesota Lawns Be Aerated
There is no catch-all aeration schedule for Minnesota lawns. Whether youre in Rochester, Minneapolis, or further north in Duluth, it all depends on how quickly your soil becomes compacted. There are many factors behind this, from soil composition to the amount of traffic your lawn gets. It may not seem like much, but human and pet traffic can go a long way to compacting the soil.
Lawns should be aerated as often as the soil fails the soil test described above. Although aeration may not be necessary on a yearly basis, check the soil once per year to see if your lawn is in need of aeration.
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When To Fertilize Lawn In Minnesota
If you want to improve the look of your lawn and avoid future problems, you need to fertilize your yard regularly. This is the best time to apply a slow-release fertilizer with a high nitrogen content. A healthy lawn requires less watering and is more pleasant to walk on. Follow these simple tips to fertilize your lawn correctly. The following information will help you determine the best time to fertilize your yard.
When to fertilize lawn in Minnesota: Depending on the age of your lawn, you may have to use different amounts. A lawn that is 35 years old will require three pounds of nitrogen per application, while a lawn that is just a few years old will require four to five pounds of nitrogen per application. Using three to four applications of fertilizer will produce good results, while a lawn that has been neglected for a while will require four to five applications.
The University of Minnesota suggests that fertilization of your lawn should be performed in early September or late August. However, you should remember that the amount of nitrogen you need to apply will depend on the type of soil, whether you water it frequently or not, and the amount of clippings you leave on your lawn. Therefore, it is best to take a soil test first before fertilizing your lawn. You can then follow the manufacturers instructions and start feeding your lawn.