Installing Sod in the Fall? It’s The Perfect Time!

A common misconception is that sod must be laid during the typical growing season. It makes sense… we usually plant everything else in the spring. Even though you can successfully lay sod in the spring and summer, installing sod in the fall actually achieves great results. There are a couple of factors to consider when installing sod in the fall.

Fall means cooler temperatures.

The fall months bring cooler temperatures and increased precipitation which is ideal for completing installing sod as there is less risk of your sod overheating or drying out. You still have to water regularly, but you may need to use less water as with the cooler temperatures, the water isn’t evaporating as quickly. This doesn’t mean that you cannot have success in the hotter, dryer months of the summer. You simply need to be more diligent with your watering and maintenance. In other words, if you are planning on going to the cabin every weekend in the summer, it is probably best to wait for the fall to sod your lawn!

Fall sod installation timing.

As long as we are harvesting our sod fields, you can install it in your yard. There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to watering your sod. If you are blowing out your irrigation system, you will still need a water source (think garden hose & sprinklers). If it’s JUST before winter, give it a good soaking and if it freezes it will go dormant and take off in the spring. However, if it warms up again you may need to drag out the hose/sprinklers. This usually occurs in the late October/early November timeframe. We do harvest sod up until the ground is frozen or the snow is too deep, but the rule of thumb is to try and have your project done by the end of October as our Minnesota November weather is very unpredictable.

Fall is a great time to lay sod. Follow these steps when installing and caring for your sod in the fall, and don’t forget to fertilize your lawn (mid-October) with a 20-10-10. If you have any questions regarding the installation of sod feel free to contact us at 763-434-6572.

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 2021, 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.

Be Prepared for Leaves

Minnesota offers beautiful fall colors every year but it also means- leaves, leaves everywhere! They can be a hassle, but these tips will help you deal with them this fall.

No one enjoys the back-breaking work of raking. Here is how you can get the job over quickly:

  • Let gravity help you out by raking leaves downhill if possible.
  • Skip raking and move straight to mowing. Chopped leaves can allow for vital nutrients to return to the soil.  
  • Use a leaf blower to create piles to pick up and bag.

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.

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? Or simply leave them be?

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 lawnmower 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 Minnesota winter hits!

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.

Avoid These Common Fall Lawn Care Mistakes

Even though the temperatures are starting to drop, it’s important not to abandon lawn care yet! Help ensure that your lawn is healthy and beautiful this spring by avoiding these common fall lawn care mistakes. 

Leaving Fallen Leaves

Minnesota autumn brings a vibrant display of leaves in hues of red and orange that are beautiful to view. However, once these leaves fall to the ground it can set your lawn up for trouble. You may be tempted to ignore them but too much leaf cover can suffocate your grass and prevent oxygen from reaching its roots. Leaf cover can also trap moisture and prevent oxygen from reaching your lawn, creating a good environment for lawn disease to thrive. Cleaning up fallen leaves or mulching them with your mower will help promote your lawn’s health.

Watering as Usual

As the weather gets cooler and the days grow shorter, your lawn will not need as much supplemental water to survive. Cutting back on how much you water in the fall will help prevent fungal growth and prepare your lawn for winter. However, if you have just installed your sod make sure you are watering adequately. Water your new sod every day for 1 week and long enough so that when you step onto the sod it’s squishy. Then after one week, (in the fall only) you can water every other or every three days; just don’t let it dry out.  Squishy isn’t necessary.  

Forgetting to Fertilize

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 the best results. We recommend a blend of 20-10-10, which can be purchased at our shop.

DON’T Avoid Planning Ahead for Spring

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 natural sod grass to retain moisture. 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.

Can I Install Sod in the Fall? Learn What you Need to Do

Your time outside this summer may have you planning for how you can update your lawn for next year. If your grass is on the list for an upgrade, why not start this fall?! Due to the warm weather, it is often thought that summer is the best time to install sod, but this isn’t true! Sod can be installed at any time throughout the growing season. However, there are a couple of factors to consider when installing sod in the fall. 

Cool fall temperatures.

Fall usually brings cooler temperatures and the occasional rainfall. Not only are these cooler temperatures easier on your new grass, but it is also easier on you or the laborer laying the sod. By laying sod in fall weather, you have less risk of your sod overheating. You still have to water your lawn regularly, but you will need less water as it isn’t evaporating as quickly. You can still be successful when laying sod in the summer, however, summertime is usually busier and if you’re planning on going to the cabin every weekend, it is probably best to wait for the fall to lay sod. 

When is it too late to Install?

It’s never too late to install sod if we can harvest it in our fields. There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to watering your sod. If you are blowing out your irrigation system, you will still need a water source (think garden hose & sprinklers). If it’s JUST before winter, give it a good soaking and if it freezes it will go dormant and take off in the spring. However, if it warms up again you may need to drag out the hose/sprinklers. This usually occurs in the late October/early November timeframe. We do harvest sod up until the ground is frozen or the snow is too deep, but the rule of thumb is to try and have your project done by end of October as our Minnesota November weather is very unpredictable.

Fall is a great time to lay sod. Follow these steps when installing and caring for your sod in the fall, and don’t forget to fertilize your lawn (mid-October) with a 20-10-10. If you have any questions regarding the installation of sod feel free to contact us at 763-434-8231.