The Basics: Proper Lawn Mowing TechniqueTaking care of your lawn in Minneapolis can be more complicated than you might think. A lot of people see lawn care as a very simple task, usually only requiring them to mow their lawn once in a while. Or, people simply hire lawn care service without fully understanding the work that’s being done. But there are many different factors that come into play when you’re trying to maintain the perfect lawn, especially in the Twin Cities region.For instance, weather and seasonal changes in Minneapolis, MN can create some challenges that many other regions of the US do not have to deal with. Before we move onto advanced level stuff, it’s a good idea to start with some the basics when it comes to mowing your lawn.Mowing the lawn is the most common and basic thing you need to know how to do, and there’s more to it than you might think. Let’s take a look at a few things to remember and look out for when mowing your lawn.
Lawn Mower Inspection in Minneapolis
Photo: Flickr / Dawn Parker
Does it have fuel?You should check your lawn mower before you do anything else. Whether it’s a push mower or a rider, make sure it has gas or power. You don’t want to run out of gas halfway through mowing and have to finish the job later, potentially creating an uneven cut. It’s also considered dangerous to put fuel in a hot lawn mower.
Is the blade set at the right height?You’ll need to set the blade at different heights for different circumstances. If you have grass that’s constantly in the shade, you’ll want to leave it a little bit longer so it can absorb all the nutrients it needs to thrive. Avoid cutting your grass too short, it can encourage weed growth and damage your lawn. Don’t cut more than one-third of the blade at a time.
Are the blades sharp?You don’t want to cut with dull mower blades. It can tear the blades of grass and leave them more vulnerable to insects. If you’re unfamiliar and anxious about sharpening your blades, ask your lawn service professional for assistance.
Assess Your Lawn in Minneapolis
Photo: Flickr / Weed Man Lawn CareWalk around every inch of your lawn if you can, and look for stuff that you don’t want to run over. Rocks, branches and other things can dull or even destroy your blades. Everybody has a story about running over rocks with the lawn mower, and it’s never a good feeling when you hear that loud banging screeching sound.
Know Your PlanPick a mowing pattern and see it through. There are a variety of options to choose from but most like to use a back and forth, snake-like pattern across their lawn. You can overlap a little bit so as to cut prevent any thin strips of grass from slipping through. Done right, the back and forth pattern can create a bit of an optical illusion when the sun shines on your grass, giving the appearance of “stripes” throughout your yard.Make sure to change your pattern every single mow, though. Using the same pattern too many times in a row can create ruts and cause your grass to grow crooked.Remember not to walk backward with the mower, mow in a forward direction with the mower in front of you.
Watch For Mowing Hills in MinneapolisMowing hills can be tricky because you need to go side to side, as opposed lawn mowing up and down a hill. Mowing up and down a hill is very dangerous because debris can be flung directly into you and it’s much easier to slip and fall. If you have a riding mower, switch to a push mower if the angle is too steep, or risk tipping your rider. If you suffer from ankle problems or other related health issues, have a lawn service professional do this for you.
Time Your Cuts RightDuring the summer when the weather is hot and dry you won’t need to cut as much. Grass grows slower in these conditions and Minneapolis has about 3 or 4 months of this weather per year.It’s better for your grass to cut it during the cooler hours of the day as well. Evening time is the best because your grass has 12 hours of darkness to recover, and grass can be slippery in the morning.
Make Use of Grass Clippings
Photo: Flickr / Paul ChanInstead of spending money on fertilizer, you can always use your fresh grass clippings as a replacement. This puts nitrogen back in your lawn and keeps it healthy. Spread clippings across the areas you’ve mowed already.
In ConclusionMowing your lawn is relatively simple, but there are some common mistakes to avoid if you want to do it right. Remember to follow all the tips in this chapter to avoid any lawn mowing errors. With some basic knowledge and proper technique, you can correctly mow your lawn with ease, even in a hot and cold climate like Minnesota’s.
Dirt 101: Knowing Your Dirt Matters In MinneapolisYou don’t have to be a biologist to know that all good lawns are born from good soil. Soil is the very substance in which your grass will be growing, and there are ways to improve it and make sure it’s optimized for whatever type of grass you’ll be growing in it. You might know some of the basics of soil care, like fertilization for example, but there are many more layers to it than that. (No pun intended)For instance, knowing the pH balance of your soil can be crucial to keeping it in good health. Not only that, but there are several other factors to take into consideration when determining the health of your soil. To get you up to speed on all things soil, let’s take a deeper look at what goes into creating the perfect dirt for your lawn.
Know Your Dirt to Know Your LawnAlmost any problem you ever encounter with your lawn can be traced back to your soil. As soil is the first building block of a healthy lawn, it only makes sense that almost all your lawn care success or failure will stem from your dirt.If you want to get your soil as healthy as possible, understanding soil composition is a must. The best topsoil for growing grass is called loam soil. Good loam soil will be made up of about 20% clay, 40% sand, and 40% silt. This combination is perfect for retaining nutrients and water while allowing drainage for excess water and sufficient air-flow.There are actually four layers in soil, but for lawn care purposes, only the top two layers really matter. These are organic material on the very top of the ground, and topsoil just beneath it. Topsoil is comprised of:
- Organic Material
- Living Organisms
Testing Your SoilIn order to learn everything you need know about your soil, you need to test it. This is relatively simple and can be done on your own. You can get a soil test kit at your local hardware store in most cases, and they are typically pretty cheap.You’ll want to perform at least 20 different tests all around your yard, to get a fair representation of what’s in your dirt. You might have different types of soil in different areas of your yard, so thorough testing is a must, even if your yard is small.
- pH Balance
- Nutrient Levels
In ConclusionKnowing your soil is the first step towards building and maintaining the lawn of your dreams. By adhering to the wisdom in this chapter you can effectively treat almost any problem your lawn will face and stop some before they start.Keeping your soil in shape is simply a matter of checking it on the regular, and balancing out your nutrient and pH levels whenever they start to get irregular.
What Grass is Right for You?
Now that you know how to properly mow your lawn and take care of your soil, it’s time to learn about grass. Not all grass is the same, and there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before choosing a type of grass for your lawn. If you have different types of soil around your lawn, lots of shade, high amounts of traffic, or other factors that can affect your grass, you’ll have to take note of these things and incorporate them into your lawn care strategy.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about grass and which kinds go well with which environments, so you can make the smartest choice when it comes to planting your Minnesota lawn.
Popular Grasses for Minneapolis, MN Lawns
There are many different types of grass, but only a few select types can survive in Minnesota. The only types of grass that will work in this area are cool-season grasses because this state is well north of the transition zone. The most popular grasses used in Minnesota are as follows:
This is the most commonly used turfgrass in Minnesota. It grows quickly during moist, cool weather and it will grow into a long-lasting lawn on its own, with the right management. It does need to be watered during times of low rainfall, however.
These grasses are perfect for shady areas, and they do not respond well to poorly drained soils. Fescues actually require less upkeep than Kentucky bluegrasses, needing less water and fertilizer to stay healthy. Excessively fertilizing or irrigating these grasses will likely cause them to thin, and will certain leafspot diseases. Because of this, fine-leafed fescues are typically used with hard fescue, Red fescue, and chewings fescue.
These grasses tend to grow in an erect, bunch-type pattern, with a very high speed of seed germination and establishment. They thrive in areas with mild or average levels of fertility, and they need well-drained soils.
The common and unimproved versions of perennial ryegrass often don’t last very long in Minnesota, but improved versions of this grass are able to stand harsh winters and heavy traffic.
Because of this, they tend to be a preferred choice for lawns in which wear tolerance and rapid cover are needed. For lawns with slopes at risk of erosion, perennial ryegrasses are often seeded with certain bluegrasses to prevent erosion.
It’s not uncommon to find a mixture of these grasses in one yard. Mixing these grasses can give them certain properties that are well suited to situations in your environment. For example, shady lawns tend to work best with fine fescues and certain Kentucky bluegrasses, whereas sunny lawns work great with a 50% mixture of perennial ryegrasses and Kentucky bluegrasses.
If you want a lawn that’s low maintenance, however, you can use a mixture of Kentucky bluegrasses and fine fescues to create a long-lasting and durable lawn that you won’t have to take care of quite as often.
Avoid These Grasses in Minneapolis
This grass is mostly used for golf courses, and it’s not the best choice for lawns at all. It usually appears non-uniform and puffy. Many people also find it to be poorly colored and it is known to be disease prone.
Zoysia is a warm-season grass and will not perform well in a cool-season state like Minnesota.
Much different from its cousin, perennial ryegrass, this grass is very cheap and only used as a winter replacement for warm-season lawns.
In the future, we may see suitable varieties of this grass come out for Minnesotans. For the time being though, it doesn’t perform well because of its lack of hardiness and rough texture.
Knowing what kind of grass to use for your lawn is crucial if you want to build the best one you can. Remember to take into account things like traffic, shade, and slopes when choosing your grass. You’ll likely want to use a mixture of the three kinds of grass above, depending on your situation.
Also, never use a warm-season grass in a state like Minnesota, it will not thrive. Keeping these things in mind you should be well equipped to choose you’re the perfect grass for your lawn.
Hiring a Minneapolis Lawn Care Company
Maintaining a lawn is challenging under Minneapolis weather, with an annual average temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The fluctuating temperatures from cool to bitterly cold weather makes grass cutting hard to predict because lawn growth is less consistent. Also, you’ll need to regularly check if weeds are germinating in your yard since the following cold, winter months will preserve them in the ground. Many Minneapolis residents don’t want to put up with this, which is why hiring a lawn service professional has been a popular choice.
Professional lawn care services offer important lawn treatment services beyond cutting your grass. These services range from pest control and weed removal to aeration and fertilization. It’s also wise in general to have an expert evaluate how much lawn maintenance your property needs. Additionally, there are several good tips to keep in mind when choosing a lawn care service in Minneapolis.
The first one is to hire an actual lawn service professional, not your neighbor’s cash-strapped son or someone who only provides a mower and a truck. Although hiring amateurs may seem cost-effective, their lack of expertise will result in a neglected and unprepared lawn in the long-term, such as failing to identify diseases and pests early. The second tip is to hire a fully-insured lawn service professional. This will free you from any anxiety in case a pro causes any property damage.
Finally, you should consider organizing your neighbors together and request a bulk discount from a lawn care company. Landscapers will likely offer lower prices if several jobs can be finished with just one trip to a neighborhood because they generate more profit from the time saved on their schedules. Furthermore, landscapers are held to greater accountability for their work quality since you and your neighbors will be able to compare lawns afterward.
Top Lawn Care Companies in Minneapolis
Now you might wonder: where to find a Minneapolis lawn care service near me? Since finding a top-rated lawn mowing service can be challenging, we offer a list below that ranks the best Minneapolis lawn care services based on our review of online customer satisfaction. WikiLawn.com is in no way affiliated with these, nor have we used them.
1) Three Bears Lawn Care
Minneapolis, MN 55407
If you want a lawn that is not too high, nor too, low, but cut just right, there is no one better to call than Three Bears Lawn Care. Three Bears Lawn Care has seen every type of lawn that there is in Minneapolis. They can turn even the worst lawn into the lawn of your dreams. However, they are in high demand, so set up your lawn care with them ASAP.
2) Hage Property Preservation
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Your home is perhaps the biggest investment you will ever make, and it is critical to preserving that investment. The thing is though, that there is a lot to maintaining your property. You may have found that trying to keep up with everything is overwhelming, to say the least. That is why the residents of Minneapolis turn to Hage Property Preservation, to keep their investment safe.
3) Everything You Need
Minneapolis, MN 55412
Everything You Need, Jermaine lets you know everything there is to know about his business with the name alone. Whether you need the gutters cleaned, your hot tub treated, or your gardens fertilized, Everything You Need is here to do anything you need. Jermaine is experienced with delivering a wide range of lawn care and home maintenance services in Minneapolis.
4) Watts Bros Outdoor Services
Minneapolis, MN 55443
Minneapolis is a huge place, and there is certainly no shortage of impressive lawns and gardens. Many of those lawns and gardens have one thing in common. That is that they trust Watts Bros Outdoor Services to get their lawn care and gardening handled. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall all you gotta do is call, Watts Bros to get your outdoor services handled.
5) Gallob Mowing & Lawncare
Minneapolis, MN 55426
Mowing and lawn care are two things that James knows very well. Gallob Mowing & Lawncare is a reliable and trusted lawn care service in Minneapolis. Mowing, weed eating, fertilizing and leaf cleanup are just a few of the services Gallob’s team offers. Join their many satisfied customers, and get your lawn care handled with true lawn care professionals.
6) Lenny’s Cut &Go
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Lenny’s Cut &
7) J&M Lawncare
Minneapolis, MN 55401
J&M Lawncare has the equipment and experience it takes to maintain your lawn, regardless of your needs. If your lawn is a mess, don’t worry. Jake and his crew are experienced lawn care professionals and they have seen it all. They have the skills it takes to turn your lawn into the best in the neighborhood, even if it needs a bit of work.
8) Crisp…Lawn Care & Property Maintenance
Minneapolis, MN 55411
There is nothing quite like the smell of a fresh cut lawn. Crisp…Lawn Care and Property Maintenance is a premier lawn care service in Minneapolis, that also offers property maintenance. If you want that fresh cut lawn smell, a golf course level
9) Helping Hands Landscape
Minneapolis, MN 55412
There are a lot of lawn care services in Minneapolis, but there are only a few lawn care professionals. Helping Hands Landscape is one of those few lawn care professionals in Minneapolis. If you are looking for weekly lawn care service or just a one time mow, Reginald’s team has a package built to suit your needs. Ask Reginald about their different service packages, and find out which one works best for you.
10) Mikkel Williams
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Mikkel Williams offers down to earth, landscape design and maintenance services. If you are the type that likes their lawn care handled simply and straightforward, you need to contact Mikkel. Their lawn care services are reliable and fairly priced. If you have lived in Minneapolis long enough, you have seen many lawns mowed by Mikkel Williams. Will yours be next?
11) JDs LAWN SERVICE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Everyone longs for that golf course green lawn. But, it takes dedication and skill to make a lawn of that caliber, and not many lawn care companies in Minneapolis can offer that. But there is one that does, Jd’s Lawn Service. It’s time to get that green lawn you have always wanted. Reach out to Jason and schedule your lawn services ASAP.
12) Gary Singleton
Minneapolis, MN 55433
Gary Singleton has been a lawn care professional in Minneapolis for many years. Gary has the experience, and vision it takes to make even the most underwhelming lawn, a beauty to behold. He offers several lawn care service packages which are designed for the lawns of Minneapolis. Reach out to Gary today and see what lawn maintenance package that he offers will works best for you.
More resources about Lawn & Garden Care in Minneapolis
The amount of lawn watering restrictions you face in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs depends on where you live. While Minneapolis and St. Paul don’t have any restrictions at the moment, many suburbs in the metro do. The city of South St. Paul established a...
One of the benefits of living in Minnesota is that you get to fully experience each and every season. From Summer to Winter, we get the best, and the worst that mother nature has to offer. For those of us who are really into lawn care, that can be a bit problematic at...