Fall cleanup: rake, mulch, or do nothing?

A common question this time of year is the best way to complete fall yard cleanup. Is it beneficial for your lawn to spend time raking and bagging leaves, or should you plan on mowing over everything and mulching the rest? Better yet, spend a couple of extra hours at the apple orchard or pumpkin patch–and do nothing at all?

The truth is, it’s up to you and depends on your lawn and landscaping needs. Essentially, homeowners want to avoid more than 10-20% of their grass to be covered in leaves when the snow falls. Excessive leaf matter going into winter may smother the grass and inhibit growth, as well as promote mold diseases, and encourage turf damage from critters like voles and mice. Read on for the three most common fall clean up techniques and the pros and cons of each.

Raking. Improve your arm strength by raking (or using a leaf blower) to gather a pile, then bag for disposal, or deliver to a compost site. Depending on the size of your lawn and number of trees on site, this may take an hour or a full day. In order to rake efficiently, lawns should be dry and trimmed. Additional bag fees or compost facility charges may deter people from going this route, but the excitement of jumping in a large leaf pile has its benefits too.

Mowing and mulching. Chopping grass and leaves into small pieces (also known as mulching) so they incorporate into your lawn canopy via a lawn mower benefits the soil in a number of ways. Nutrients and organic matter may add nitrogen to the lawn and assist in root growth. Some leaf types have even been shown to reduce weed germination over time. Mulching may require more frequent mowing in the fall, but specialized attachments and mulching mowers can also be purchased to make this job easier.

Leaving it be. If you have no trees and the wind blows away more than 10% of your lawn coverage, you may be off the hook for raking and mowing. Use your extra time wisely before the snow sets in!

Planning ahead for spring. Already dreaming of epic outdoor parties for next year? Don’t wait to upgrade your lawn! Apply fertilizer every fall to provide nutrients for grass to create deep roots and stay healthy in a dormant season. If you’ve been holding off until spring to lay sod, there is still time yet this year. Cool temperatures and regular rainfall this time of year encourages our Kentucky Bluegrass turf to retain moisture. Make sure to water regularly until the ground is frozen.

Consult with our experts, purchase sod and find winterizing fertilizer at B&B Hoffman Sod Farms in Elk River by visiting us online or calling 763-434-6572.

 

Time to spring clean your yard

Spring is the ideal time to get your yard back in shape after a long winter.  As we turn our attention to lawn care, rather than snow removal, it is time to patch dead grass areas, de-thatch, and fertilize.  Check out our easy pro tips on improving the appearance of your yard.

De-Thatch to encourage growth. Remove dead layers of grass, roots, and debris that accumulates between the soil surface and the green grass blades by de-thatching. If not performed regularly, you  may notice portions of grass that form a thick mat, preventing water and air from reaching the soil. To prevent this, de-thatching should be done once a year in the early spring, before grass becomes bright green and thick. De-thatching, which can be done to smaller lawns with a special rake, allows you to get the thatch out of the grass, allowing air to get at the base of the plant and gives it a healthy start in the spring after a long winter. Those with larger lawns may choose to rent a de-thaching machine, which can be either be pulled behind a lawn tractor or there is a push version likely available at a local general rental store.

Replenish your lawn with fertilizer. Fertilizers are important to lawn care because they can expedite plant growth, making plants and crops grow quickly and appear greener, fuller, and healthier. Most nutrients for your lawn are water-soluble and, over time through snow, rain or irrigation, the water will carry nutrients out of your lawn and leave it nutrient deficient. An unhealthy lawn is susceptible to disease, and fertilizer can replenish those nutrients and keep your lawn healthy. Our experts recommend fertilizing early in the spring, following up every four weeks through the month of June.

Repair or replace your lawn with sod. For new lawns, sod is an excellent option to jump-start the growing process, as it gives you an immediate green lawn with mature density and a solid root system. Turfgrass sod creates a soft, clean and safe playing surface for children, lawn games, and family entertaining. Our easy-to-use small sod rolls make laying turfgrass yourself easy and efficient. There is no expensive machinery needed, making small sod rolls the do-it-yourselfers product of choice.

Prevent weeds and over-watering. Pre-emergent weed control should go down when the ground temperature reaches 50 degrees to avoid any seeds that may have dropped last fall to germinate. No need to water your lawn this early in the season just to expedite greening. Spring rains typically produce sufficient moisture for awakening lawns. Only irrigate if grass shows signs of dehydration.

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

 

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 bricklike pattern, using an 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.

June Lawn Care

June is an important month for lawn care. Keeping grass vibrant and healthy can be challenging, as temperatures rise and sun exposure reaches its max. Follow the tips below to enjoy a beautiful lawn, all summer long.

Mowing

The ideal grass length to encourage deeper, cooler root growth, is 3 inches. If grass is too short, brown spots may appear, leading to higher occurrences of weeds and disease. Avoid mowing in the middle of the day, as newly cut grass may be damaged in hot summer heat.

Watering

A healthy lawn consistently needs about an inch and a half of water each week. Since weather patterns are often unpredictable, watering is recommended. If you don’t own a rain gauge, and are able to use a sprinkler or irrigation system, set your sprinkler for 20 minutes, three times per week. It is better to water for longer periods, less often, rather than shorter amounts, each day. Watering in the early morning and late evening will ensure a better soaking, as temperatures are cooler and less water is evaporated. During dry spells, check your city watering regulations.

Weeding

To maintain a healthy lawn, fertilize and use weed control. Crabgrass preventer should be applied in May with a second round of slow-release fertilizers spread in June.  Make sure to select the right kind of fertilizer for your lawn type.

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

 

Get your lawn ready for summer entertaining

The long, harsh winter was hard on all of us, delaying lawn care and landscaping plans. But, it’s not too late to prepare your yard for graduation parties, family reunions, or grilling get-togethers. B&B Hoffman Sod Farms is open for the 2018 season and we have fresh cut sod and fertilizer ready for you!

We recommend fertilizing early and often throughout May and into June. For the first treatment, use a fertilizer with crab grass pre-emergent/preventer to start repairing any damage done from the winter and get a jump-start on crabgrass. Ideally, this should be applied before the growing season begins. Crabgrass can germinate when the ground temperature reaches 50 degrees for 3 consecutive days, so early application to prevent growth is key. In Central Minnesota we typically reach this temperature around Mother’s Day. Visit our Elk River location to purchase fertilizer this spring to keep your lawn lush and healthy. While fertilizing is an important spring lawn care step, it isn’t the only maintenance needed for a beautiful lawn. After a long winter your yard needs some fresh air too, so be sure to rake and remove thatch as well as old leaves, twigs and fallen branches.

If your lawn has a lot of foot traffic, watch for compaction. When soil is compacted, it has less room to hold air and water to keep it healthy and full, making it difficult for roots to penetrate and fertilizers to be absorbed. To treat a compacted lawn, aerate at the beginning of the growing season. Aerating creates larger spaces in the soil, allowing more oxygen, fertilizer, nutrients, and water to penetrate. Small lawns can be aerated with special sandals with spikes attached that aerate as you walk your yard. Larger lawns may require a petrol-powered core aerator that can be rented. Regardless of the style of aerator, be sure to water the lawn thoroughly the day before you aerate to make the process easier.

Finally, tune up your mower and make sure it’s as ready for spring as your family. Raise your lawn mower height to keep grass trim and moist, as most types of grass have deep roots to take in water.

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

Fall Lawn Care Promotes to Healthy Spring Yards

Fall is a great time to lay sod for a variety of reasons! Cooler temperatures mean you don’t have to water as often because the ground retains moisture better than in the summer heat. The grass also grows slower in the fall so you don’t have to mow as frequently, and you may have better luck getting friends and family to come out and help when it isn’t as hot and muggy outside.

For existing lawns, fall is the ideal time to aerate your lawn. Aeration involves putting small holes into the soil with a spike, or removing a core or plug of grass and soil from the lawn. Doing so allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produces a stronger, more vigorous lawn. Aerating in the fall will break up compacted soil before the winter hits so that air and water can get at the roots.

Fall is also a good time to purchase your winterizer fertilizer, which should be applied in the first week of October. B&B Hoffman Sod Farms in Elk River supplies winterizer fertilizer, which prepares lawn for winter dormancy by helping lawns store food and build deep roots. It also improves spring green-up by providing nutrients that promote thick and rapid growth.

You can purchase low-maintenance Kentucky Bluegrass sod that is resistant to disease and weed-free at family-owned B&B Hoffman Sod Farms. Call us today at 763-434- 6572 or visit bbhoffmansodev.wpengine.com to learn more about our Kentucky Bluegrass and to get additional tips for fall lawn care.

B&B Hoffman Sod Farms – July Blog

When, and How Much, to Water Your Lawn

Our lawns need moisture to grow and thrive in the hot summer months, sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t take care of that for us and we need to water our lawns ourselves. But how much water does a lawn need? And when is the best time of day to do it?

A well hydrated lawn is a happy lawn. Most lawns need one inch to 1.5 inches of water every week and if that does not come from rainfall, it should be done through irrigation. Water should soak 5-6 inches deep into the soil for best results.

Homeowners should wait as long as possible between waterings without allowing the plants to go into water stress. Once a week should be plenty for most soil lawns. Those with poor soil may need to water twice a week. It is best to water a lawn heavily and infrequently. This causes plants to develop deep, strong root systems that can extract water from a much larger volume of soil than the shallow roots associated with light, frequent irrigations.

The most efficient time to water your lawn is in the early morning hours between 4-8 a.m. At this time, there is less sunlight and the temperature is lower so there is less water lost to evaporation. The wind is typically calmer in the morning hours, so distribution is improved. Mid-day watering is good for the plants because it cools the plant temperatures, but it is not efficient because some of the water will evaporate before it even gets into the soil.

Watering at night is not recommended because the lawn then sits wet all night. This can cause moss to grow, as well as different types of weeds, algae and possibly diseases.

B&B Hoffman Sod Farms can help keep your yard in shape with its easy-to- use small sod rolls that make laying turfgrass yourself easy and efficient. Don’t need sod? Check out B&B Hoffman’s supply of fertilizer to help your lawn build strong roots and keep your grass healthy and thick.

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

B&B Hoffman Sod – June Blog

In early June, grass begins to develop seeds. Because of the way it looks, some think that it’s weeds, but it isn’t. It’s a process called seeding out and is nature taking care of itself by reproducing itself and making more grass blades. While this happens, continue to mow your lawn to 3 inches high and apply your second round of fertilizer (the first should have been done toward the end of April or in early May).

Early summer is also a good time for weed control, which helps provides a healthy, beautiful lawn. Weed control treatments control annual grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds. Proper summer lawn care fertilizing and weed control will lead to fewer weeds, thicker, greener turf and a heartier stress-resistant lawn.

Another thing to note in summer months is that healthy lawns need at least one inch of water per week. If it doesn’t rain, we suggest watering twice a week and applying a half-inch of water per session. You can use a rain gauge or empty soup can placed nearby to measure the amount of water you are applying.

B&B Hoffman Sod Farms can help get your yard back in shape with its supply of fertilizer. Or for lawns in need of serious repair, B&B Hoffman 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 summer lawn care and the products that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit them online at bbhoffmansodev.wpengine.com or call 763-434- 6572.

How to Get your Lawn Back in Shape Before Summer’s Outdoor Events

Spring is a great time to get your lawn back in shape after the harsh winter and get it ready for summer events including graduation parties, weddings, BBQs and family reunions.

Using a good fertilizer with a weed and feed (dandelions are here!) is a great place to start repairing the damage from winter. B&B Hoffman Sod Farms in Elk River sells bags of weed and feed fertilizer. If you have some particularly bad spots, you can pick up a few rolls of sod while you’re there for an “instant fix.”

Other things to do in the spring include raking to remove thatch and leaves to get air to the lawn. If your lawn has a lot of traffic, you’ll want to watch for compaction. If your soil is compacted, it will have less room to hold the air and water that keep it healthy. This makes it harder for the roots to penetrate the soil and harder for fertilizers to be absorbed into the soil.

To treat a compacted lawn, aerate the soil at the beginning of the growing season. Aerating will cause there to be larger spaces in the soil and allow more oxygen, fertilizer, nutrients and water to penetrate. The day before you plan to aerate, water the lawn thoroughly to make the process easier. Small lawns can be aerated with special sandals with spikes attached to the bottom that aerate the lawn as you walk around. Larger lawns may require a petrol-powered core aerator, which can be rented.

Following these spring lawn-care tips can help get your yard in perfect shape before summer’s outdoor events. To learn more about spring lawn care and the products that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit them online at bbhoffmansodev.wpengine.com or call 763-434- 6572.

B&B Hoffman Sod Farms – April Blog

Spring is the perfect time to get your yard back in shape after the long winter. It’s time to patch dead areas, de-thatch and fertilize. Pre-emergent weed control should go down when the ground temperature reaches 50 degrees, which will be earlier this year than most because of the mild winter and warm spring in Minnesota this year.

Thatch is simply the layer of dead grass, roots, and debris that accumulates between the soil surface and the green grass blades above. It can form a thick mat that prevents water and air from reaching the soil. To prevent this, de-thatching should be done once a year in the early spring, usually in April. If your lawn gets too green and too thick, it’s too late to de-thatch. De-thatching, which can be done to smaller lawns with a special rake, allows you to get the thatch out of the grass, allowing air to get at the base of the plant and gives it a healthy start in the spring after a long winter. Those with larger lawns may choose to rent a dethaching machine, which is similar in appearance to a push lawn mower.

Fertilizers are important to lawn care because they can expedite plant growth. Fertilizers make plants and crops grow more quickly and appear greener, fuller and healthier. Most nutrients for your lawn are water-soluble and, over time through rain or irrigation, the water will carry nutrients out of your lawn and leave it nutrient deficient. An unhealthy lawn is susceptible to disease, and fertilizer can replenish those nutrients and keep your lawn healthy.

B&B Hoffman Sod Farms can help get your yard back in shape with its supply of fertilizer. But for new lawns, sod is an excellent option to jump-start the growing process because it gives you an immediate green lawn with mature density and a solid root system. Lawns established with turfgrass sod are an immediate joy and source of pride, while lawns started with seed, sprigs, or plugs take from 2 to 3 years of constant work to mature. In an instant, turfgrass sod creates a soft, clean and safe playing surface for children, lawn games and family entertaining.

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 bbhoffmansodev.wpengine.com or call 763-434-6572.