How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower

Another lawn mowing season has come to an end, now it is time to prep your mower for the next season. Read on to learn how to winterize a lawn mower to prevent damage, enhance its performance, and ensure it will start up easily the next time you need it.

Why You Need to Winterize Lawn Mowers

Whether you have a gas-powered, riding, or electric lawn mower, it requires periodic maintenance to minimize repairs. We know it can be tempting to just store the mower and worry about it next spring. But, procrastinating can leave you in a pickle when your mower won’t start and your yard needs to be trimmed.

How to Winterize a Lawn Mower

  • Remove or stabilize the fuel: A mower used at the end of the season needs to be emptied of fuel. Leftover gas has the potential to oxidize, corrode the carburetor, or impede the fuel system. If the gasoline has a fuel preservative, you can save it until next spring or run it in your snow blower. If the gasoline has not had a preservative added, you need to use up the gasoline as soon as possible.
  • Remove the Battery: Remove its battery and store it in a cool, dry location away from flammable substances. Come next spring, use a 120-volt battery charger to bring the battery to full capacity, then reinstall it into the mower.
  • Change the Oil: Follow the instructions outlined in your mower’s owner’s manual to change the oil and give your mower a clean start next season.
  • Clean the Deck: Use a paint scraper, wire brush, or knife to carefully remove caked-on grass and debris from the deck. This step prevents moisture in the grass clippings from causing rust and corrosion to the underside of the deck.

These are a few necessary steps in winterizing your lawn mower and ensuring a smooth spring mowing start-up. Fortunately, this process also works on the other gas-powered tools that you use on your lawn. Stow your lawn tools away for the winter, and start looking forward to spring. Soon enough we will be hearing mowers starting up, seeing lush green yards, and smelling fresh-cut grass.

Don’t forget if you have installed sod late in the season, it does still need to be watered until the ground is frozen. It will need moisture every 3-4 days whether it is moisture from the sky, snow, rain, or a garden hose. 

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If you have a yard renovation on your mind for 2023, give us a call for a quote on high-quality Kentucky Bluegrass Sod. Each piece is grown in uniform thickness and bred to be dark green, soft, and durable to withstand harsh climates.

Early Autumn Lawn Care Tips

As temperatures begin to cool and leaves fall, autumn brings ideal conditions to care for your lawn. Before thinking about dusting off that snowblower, here are a few tips to ensure your lawn will be beautiful next spring.

Lay Sod. If you’ve been waiting to lay sod, now is the time to do so. Cool temperatures and regular rainfall allows sod to retain moisture and root quickly. Since we are experiencing a rather hot fall so far, plan to install sod on an overcast day to avoid stress on the plant. Prepare your soil by removing debris on the surface and filling in any small holes. Use a rake to loosen the soil and add any topsoil you may need. Apply the sod in a brick-like pattern, using a utility knife to fit the sod together tightly. Once the sod is in place water it immediately. Typically, it takes sod 2-3 weeks to root completely; avoid mowing until roots are strong, approximately 14 days after installation.

Let your soil breathe. Aerate your existing lawns in the cooler fall season to reap the benefits year round. Aeration creates small holes into the soil, either by using a spike or a machine to remove a core of grass and soil from the lawn. Benefits of aerating are: stronger grass roots, reduced water runoff, improved air exchange between the soil, and less susceptibility to disease. Increase root growth by allowing your grass to breath and minimizing thatch build up by aerating prior to applying a fall fertilizer.

Apply fall fertilizer. While many homeowners may think fertilizer should be applied in the spring, fall is an ideal time to refresh your lawn before going dormant in the winter. Fall fertilization will assist in storing food and ensuring strong roots throughout the winter, and greener grass after the spring thaw. Apply fertilizer around the first week in October for best results.

Purchase sod and winterizing fertilizer from B&B Hoffman Sod Farms in Elk River. To learn more about us and products we offer, visit us online or call 763-434-6572.

Can You Lay Sod in the August Heat?

Is it practical to put sod down in August? Absolutely! Sod can be installed in August when it’s hot and dry, however, you will need to be very diligent on watering. For an established yard, Kentucky Bluegrass is resilient and will go dormant if not watered properly. Because of its resiliency, it should come back once you get the water going again. However, you may see weeds trying to creep in.

The season at B&B Hoffman Sod Farms will continue into November, weather permitting, so if watering is an issue, September and October are also great times to lay sod due to the cooler temperatures and occasional rain. If you do lay sod in August, water at least once a day for 8 days (unless it rains, then that is a day of watering). After 8 days, the grass will tell you when it needs water by looking a little blueish in color. Be very mindful of this and get water on it right away.

Before you lay the sod, prepare the soil by removing twigs, stones and other debris larger than a golf ball. Fill in low areas with good quality topsoil. It’s easy to add to the soil when it is bare, so take advantage of the opportunity if needed. Break up soil clumps that are larger than 2 inches in diameter and smooth the soil with a stiff garden rake.

If you have the opportunity, lay sod on a cool, overcast day to minimize plant stress. If you lay sod in the heat of summer, call some friends to help get the sod down in a hurry and have a little fun along the way. Stagger rolls in a brick like pattern and have seams tight together without overlapping. A utility knife works best for cutting the sod rolls.

Once an area of sod is in place where you can water it without getting wet, turn on the sprinklers. Moisten the soil to a depth of 4 inches or until you can lift the sod and see that the water has penetrated through the sod and saturated the ground underneath. After 8-10 days gently tug at the sod, if you feel a little resistance, then you know the roots are starting to anchor in the soil and it is safe to mow. Mowing stimulates root growth; therefore, you want to mow around the 10 day mark.

To learn more about the Kentucky Bluegrass that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms grows and other products we offer, visit us online at bbhoffmansod.com or call 763-434- 6572.

Mid Summer Lawn Care Tips

Hot summer months often require regular watering for lawns and gardens. Follow these easy July lawn care tips to showcase a beautiful landscape all season long.

Soaking sessions. Most lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water every week. If rainfall is sparse, watering should occur through irrigation, ensuring water soaks 5-6 inches deep into the soil. Watering for a longer duration, less often, is preferred over daily watering. This routine prepares your grass for potential drought, and creates a hardier grass cover.

Timing is everything. The most efficient time to water your lawn is in the early morning hours, prior to 9 a.m. At this time, there is the least amount of sunlight and wind, and the lower temperatures allow for equal water distribution. Watering at night is not recommended as the lawn then sits with no sunlight, often causing moss, different types of weeds, algae, and possibly diseases to grow and spread. Always check with local watering restrictions in your area.

Adjust your clipping. Mow your grass to its specified type height, usually around 2 ½ to 3 inches. Taller grass is a natural weed repellent and allows deeper root growth. Shorter grass drys easily, often turning brown and spreading disease.

Fine tune your tools. To ensure an efficient irrigation routine, make sure all sprinklers are aimed at grass, not pavement or hard surfaces. Repair hoses, fittings and nozzles as needed to eliminate leakage and save on water waste.

B&B Hoffman Sod Farms grows natural Kentucky Bluegrass sod which is well-known for its ability to maintain its beauty and adapt to changing temperatures and watering practices. Starting out with a strong, low-maintenance lawn like Kentucky Bluegrass will make a big difference when drought or poor conditions strike. To learn more about summer lawn care and the products that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit them online at bbhoffmansod.com or call 763-434-6572.

5 Reasons to Choose Sod over Seed

If you’re dealing with a yard that is dirt or a lawn on its last legs, you might be weighing the pros and cons of sodding versus seeding. You may already know that seeding will save you money in the short term but the fact is, it will cost you extra time while potentially not saving you as much money as you expect. It is very labor-intensive and can go sideways easily if you’re not diligent. 

Five main reasons you should choose sod over seed:

Rapid Growth. Overseeding takes a full growing season to establish, but sod establishes within a couple of weeks and doesn’t have to deal with some of the pitfalls over overseeding. 

Instant Lawn. One of the best aspects of sod is that it provides an instant lush green lawn. Within a few hours, turfgrass sod transforms a yard from bare soil to a living carpet of grass with mature density and a solid root system that looks great instantly.

Environment Friendly. Turf grass sod cleans the air and helps recharge our groundwater supply. Grass blades take in carbon dioxide and the worst atmospheric pollutants and gives back pure oxygen making it one of nature’s finest, least expensive filters, working to improve the environment.

Resistant to Weeds. Sod is excellent at outcompeting weeds due to being pre-established and carefully managed. The grass grown at B&B Hoffman Sod Farm is fertilized regularly and irrigated as necessary to produce beautiful, strong grass that withstands unsightly problems such as weeds.

Weather Resistant. The other main problem with overseeding is that it is vulnerable to inclement weather. High winds and heavy rains can completely destroy your freshly-laid seed before it has a chance to begin establishing, wasting your time and money in the blink of an eye. Because sod is fully mature the day it’s installed, it can immediately control erosion and flooding even on steeply sloped areas, as it sinks down roots rapidly.

If you have a yard renovation on your mind or sod need for 2022, give B&B Hoffman Sod Farm a call for a quote on high-quality Kentucky Bluegrass Sod. Each piece is grown in uniform thickness and bred to be dark green, soft, and durable to withstand harsh climates. We are proud to grow about 600 acres of natural grass every year, available for delivery or pick up, in big and small rolls for any size job.

Contact B&B Hoffman Sod Farms For Your Next Lawn Project

As you gear up for summer and plan hours of outdoor entertaining, contact B&B Hoffman Sod Farms located in Elk River, MN for all your sod needs. From fixing a small patch of lawn to installing a whole new turf, our seasoned professionals are here to help.

Our family sod farm grows, harvests, and delivers the highest quality Kentucky Bluegrass Turf in Minnesota. We are committed to growing a superior product at a low price, and we pride ourselves on impeccable customer service.

B&B Hoffman Sod offers convenient delivery services to homes and businesses to fulfill your sod needs. Our experienced drivers will strategically place pallets of sod around the yard for you, making installation easy. All turfgrass delivered in Minnesota is cut within 24 hours of delivery, ensuring the best possible product.

Are you ready to transform your lawn into lush green grass, with mature density and a solid root system? Within a few hours, sod transforms a yard from bare soil to a living carpet of grass with mature density and a solid root system that looks great instantly. Our Kentucky Bluegrass sod is easy to install and maintain and will leave your yard with a beautiful instant upgrade! 

To see more photos or learn more about the products B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit us online at bbhoffmansod.com, or call 763-434- 6572.

 

Invest in Our Sod for Your Commercial Projects

We love connecting with Landscape Business Owners at home and garden expos, as well as maintaining our long-standing relationships over coffee, while planning for the upcoming season. If you are planning large projects or investing in a new commercial operation, consider these three reasons when choosing B&B Hoffman Sod for your landscaping supplier needs.

Soil Consistency. As a family-run company deeply rooted in the natural grass growing business, we are committed to producing the best Kentucky Bluegrass turf in Minnesota. Our natural grass is grown in several areas within the north/northwest metro area of Minnesota, offering a slight variation in temperature and terrain to ensure a fruitful season. Upon delivery, you will notice about an inch of consistent, well-textured soil, to help the roots stay strong as they are transplanted in your lawn or commercial property. A strong base of consistent soil will allow the grass enough root support to keep them in place and continue to thrive.

Regular Maintenance. Everyone enjoys a lush, emerald green lawn! Our natural grass is fertilized regularly and irrigated as necessary to produce beautiful, strong grass. Our sod is produced to withstand drought conditions and avoid wilting, browning, or unsightly problems such as crabgrass. Our technicians take great pride in mowing every field, every other day. It is one of the most important parts of the growing process, as mowing stimulates root growth. After each field is mowed, we follow up with a roller to compact the soil and counteract any tire marks.

Proper Harvesting. Our natural grass is planted in late summer and harvested about 12-16 months after planting to ensure a hardy root structure. Sod is harvested at the peak of maturity when the ground isn’t frozen–usually April to November. We prefer to harvest in the morning, so the ground temperature (and therefore the sod temperature) is lower, increasing the shelf life of the product. You will notice our natural grass holds moisture at the roots and is a bright, consistent color, indicating a high-quality sod.

We are proud to grow about 600 acres of natural grass every year, available for delivery or pick up, in big and small rolls for any size job. To learn more about  B&B Hoffman Sod Farms and our family business, visit us online at bbhoffmansod.com or call 763-434- 6572.

Myths About Sod Debunked

If you’re debating between buying sod or seed when redoing your lawn, there’s a lot of information out there about the pros and cons of both methods. However, some of that information is not quite accurate, so we’re here to debunk common myths about buying professionally grown sod for your lawn.

Myth #1: Sod takes more work than seed.

Since sod is already sprouted and established before it ever arrives at your property, it greatly reduces the amount of time you’ll spend caring for your lawn. In addition, you’ll get to enjoy your sodded lawn much sooner than one from seed.

Myth #2: Sod is too expensive.

While sod does require a larger up-front investment than seed, the long-term value is undeniable. Since sod is already sprouted and grown in dense patches that are weed and pest free, you’ll be ahead from day one of your sod installation versus trying to use only seed. Plus, sod has a much better chance of evenly rooting across your lawn, while seeds tend to sprout unevenly and require multiple reseeding attempts to get full coverage.

Myth #3: Sod is bad for the environment.

Rooted in the false idea that sod producers use tons of pesticides and herbicides to control pests and weeds in their sod, many mistakenly believe that the runoff of these chemicals is hurting the environment. The truth is that modern sod varieties, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, grow dense root mats, preventing weeds from breaking through the surface with minimal need for weed killers. These sod varieties are also engineered to resist common pests. As a result, reputable sod farms, like B&B Hoffman Sod in Minnesota, have less and less need to use chemicals in order to grow premium-quality sod.

Spring is a great time to sod, allowing you to take advantage of our rainy season to help with watering. The cool temperatures also help with keeping on top of watering. B&B Hoffman Sod Farms in Elk River provides easy-to-use small rolls that make laying turfgrass yourself easy and efficient. There is no expensive machinery needed, making Small Sod Rolls the do-it-yourselfers product of choice.

To learn more about spring lawn care and the products that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit them online at www.bbhoffmansod.com or call 763-434-6572.

When Should I Aerate My Lawn This Spring?

The best time to aerate your lawn is when it is actively growing. In Minnesota, the cool-season grasses are most actively growing in the spring and fall when temperatures are moderate. Aerating while the roots are still active will help you achieve the healthy, green lawn you want.

How to tell if your lawn needs aerating. There are several signs that a lawn is in need of aeration. In addition to making aeration a regular part of your annual yard prep and/or clean-up, watch for indications that water is not penetrating the soil properly. Other signs to look for include brown or dead spots, thin and dull grass, or grass that just doesn’t seem to grow much (if at all).

How frequently should you aerate your lawn. As long as you are aerating at about the same time each year, an annual aeration should be all you need to support a healthy lawn.

When not to aerate your lawn. Aerating a lawn during times when the grass is dormant is never a good idea because it can open your lawn up to weed growth or other problems. You should also avoid aeration when your lawn is wet. It is best to wait until the grass is actively growing.

If the snow melting in the spring means a destroyed lawn for you, that even aeration won’t revive, reach out to B&B Hoffman for Kentucky Bluegrass sod. Kentucky Bluegrass is known for its dense, lush, and durable qualities making it the perfect choice for Minnesota yards.

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If you have a yard renovation on your mind or sod need for 2022, give us a call for a quote on high-quality Kentucky Bluegrass Sod. Each piece is grown in uniform thickness and bred to be dark green, soft, and durable to withstand harsh climates.

 

Everything to Know about Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is one of the most beautiful varieties of lawn grass out there. When given its preferred growing conditions, this grass produces a dense, lush, green lawn that lives up to its reputation. KBG is known as one of the more durable varieties on the market, making it a perfect choice for yards with high traffic, pets, or kids. Here is a guide on what to expect when choosing Kentucky Bluegrass sod for your lawn.

Physical properties of Kentucky Bluegrass. KBG is a cool-season lawn grass that is a great fit for northern climates with warm to hot summers but cold winters. It is a premier sod choice for Minnesota homeowners due to these properties. The easiest method of identifying KBG is to look at the tip of the blade of grass. Each KBG blade resembles the shape of a canoe boat, where it is tapered off at the top and bottom.

Kentucky Bluegrass Maintenance. 

  • Watering and drought tolerance: Bluegrass has the natural ability to survive several weeks or longer of drought. KBG has a shallow root system, so if it doesn’t rain, it will need to be watered a couple of times a week during the summer to keep it green.
  •  Fertilization: Use a blend of fertilizer similar to 5-14-42 during the summer (every 6 weeks after sod is installed), and when you winterize your yard use 20-10-10.
  • Mowing: Start mowing your sod 7-10 days after installation at 2-2 1/2 inches.
  • Weed prevention: Spray with a weed killer as you see fit. If you see weeds starting, take care of them as soon as possible to prevent spreading.

Have more questions? Reach out. We are available to help answer your questions regarding Kentucky Bluegrass or sod! Just give us a call or send us a message. We are committed to growing a superior product at a low price, and we pride ourselves on impeccable customer service.