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.

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.

Planning a Backyard Wedding but Your Lawn isn’t Ready?

Tis’ the season of holiday engagements and wedding planning! Even though we are just entering Minnesota’s long winter, we know plans for summer celebrations are already underway. If you’re thinking about hosting a wedding in your yard or maybe a graduation party, but your lawn isn’t ready to be shown off, let B&B Hoffman Sod help you out.

Here are a few tips to avoid problems while still enjoying a beautiful backyard wedding:

Lay sod down: Most homeowners would agree that they want a lush green lawn to greet guests. But we know that goal means endless time spent fertilizing, weeding, and watering your grass. However, you could simply order sod and get immediate results that will be sure to wow your guests. Sod will also save you time, reducing pre-wedding stress!

Cover parts of your lawn: If your sod hasn’t had a lot of time to establish roots (usually just need 10-12 days), add a layer of protection over high-traffic areas. For instance, a dance floor provides a solid surface for guests to use and will minimize high heels sinking into your lawn. We suggest you remove any coverings from your lawn as soon as possible so your new sod can continue to receive much-needed sunlight, oxygen, and water. 

Put up natural barriers: Maybe you want your guests to avoid your newly sodded yard all together! We suggest installing a well-defined pathway that guests will naturally gravitate toward. You can also use large pots of flowers or grasses to block off parts of the yard.

When Minnesota’s winter lifts and the snow melts, the first step to preparing your yard for the big day is to green up your lawn. At B&B Hoffman Sod, we provide durable low-maintenance kentucky bluegrass that creates a soft, clean, and safe surface in an instant.

Prevent Winter Damage from Moles & Voles

Moles and voles don’t hibernate over the winter, they simply dig deeper tunnels to escape the cold. The Minnesota snow cover combined with our tendency to go outside less often in the winter makes their tunnels much harder to see; giving the illusion of hibernation. You can avoid the nasty surprise of tunneled lawns in the spring and prevent winter damage from burrowing pests by taking a few precautionary steps this fall.

Signs of Mole or Vole Damage

Determining which pesty pest is tearing up your lawn will dictate which preventative measures you should take.

  • Mole Damage Signs: 
    • Mole hills: mounds of dirt that mark where a mole excavated dirt.
    • Feeding tunnels: long tracks of slightly raised earth.
  • Vole Damage Signs: 
    • Tracks of dead grass: voles will eat some grass roots, and roots from flowers and veggies.
    • Small holes in the ground: small holes about an inch across, in your yard, or at the base of shrubs indicate a surfacing vole.

Three Ways to Prevent Mole and Vole Damage During the Winter

  • Don’t mulch too early: mulch is a great tool when you’re trying to protect plants from cold weather. Mulch is also, unfortunately, popular with voles. Instead of putting mulch down in early fall, wait until the first frost to apply your mulch. Waiting a little bit may convince an interested vole to set up home somewhere else for the winter.
  • Install barriers: common barriers include lining the bottom and sides of your beds with hardware cloth to prevent moles and voles from getting in from the ground.
  • Apply repellents: Applying an effective mole and vole repellent is a safe and reliable way to prevent winter damage. You can find repellents at your local lawn and garden center. Cedar oil is also another option to drive harmful bugs away from your lawn in addition to controlling the moles and vole’s food source.

We hope these tips will help protect your lawn this winter but if spring appears and you find your grass damaged from moles or voles, reach out to B&B Hoffman sod for low-maintenance kentucky bluegrass that is resistant to disease! Whether you need to replace a small section of grass or your whole lawn, we can help!

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.

A Sod Farm Near Me: What you Need to Look for Besides Proximity

We all do it, when we search for a product or service we look for a shop that is close. While proximity can be helpful, there are other factors to consider as well. This list will explain what to keep in mind when you are looking to purchase from a “sod farm near me.”

Proximity. The main reason to consider proximity is for freshness. Sod needs to be healthy and fresh for it to take root, grow, and stay strong. Sod that has been sitting can overheat, causing permanent damage. Using a sod farm that has healthy and fresh sod is more important than using a sod farm that is closest to you.

Sod Quality. Healthy sod is free from disease and pests. Quality also refers to the right type of grass for your area. Before purchasing sod, be sure you’re picking the right variety for your environment. 

  • Our Kentucky Bluegrass sod is grown locally in Elk River, serving many contractors and homeowners in urban and rural areas throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota Kentucky Bluegrass sod is well-known for its ability to maintain its beauty and adapt to changing temperatures and watering practices. Each piece is grown in uniform thickness and bred to be dark green, soft, and durable.

Service. After you decide where you will purchase, ensure your yard is ready for installation. You may end up wasting money if your sod isn’t installed or maintained correctly. We suggest researching and asking your provider questions before installation.

Our sod experts are available to answer your questions regarding installation, maintenance, measurements, and ordering. We take pride in our sod and want to make sure you have the facts about what it takes to have a healthy yard for your family and pets. 

B&B Hoffman Sod is local and here to provide you with the information you need for a beautiful new lawn, quickly achieved with sod. Contact us today to learn more about our sod and services, and you won’t have to worry about searching for a “sod farm near me!”

How to Get Your Yard in Shape Before Summer’s Outdoor Activities

Spring is the perfect time to get your yard back in shape after the 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. 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 dethatching machine, which is similar in appearance to a push lawn mower.

Replenish your lawn with fertilizer. 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- we suggest using a blend low in nitrogen and high in potash. 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.

Repair or replace your lawn with sod. 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 entertainment. 

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

Tips on How to Plan Your Dream Lawn

We have officially hit the part of winter where I start daydreaming of days spent outside soaking up the summer sun. But, since there is still snow on the ground it is a great time to start daydreaming and planning your ideal lawn.

Designing a lawn is like designing any part of your landscape. You will need to consider how you plan to use the space and what your needs are. Here are a few tips for designing your perfect lawn.

Using the space: ‘how do you use the lawn?’ If you have kids, they’re going to want a large open, grassy area to kick the ball or play catch. While, if you’re an older couple, you may prefer just enough grass to provide an open, clean look to occasionally entertain on.

Initial installation: In comparison to planter beds or patios, a lawn can be inexpensive to install. That being said, a larger lawn will require more resources which has an impact on price. If you are debating on what to start your lawn with check out this resource on sod vs. seed.

Proximity to your home: Lawn can double as a great pathway or entertaining area, it is nice to have lush green grass just off your patio or back door to expand the usable space in your landscape.

Maintenance: A beautiful lawn requires mowing, edging, fertilizing, aeration, and occasional weed control to keep it looking lush. If you start your lawn out by laying sod, you will have an instant lawn with mature density and a solid root system. While a lawn that is started with seed can take two to three years of dedicated work to mature. 

Drainage: Sod or seed won’t grow in an area that is constantly pooling with water. If you have an area of your property that is known to have bad drainage be sure to create a drainage system first.

Highlight your garden: A carpet of green lawn looks beautiful surrounding a garden. The openness of a grassy area makes a good visual contrast to the varied shapes and colors of trees and shrubs.

The Minnesota winter is a great time to start planning your dream yard. Follow these tips and head to Pinterest for some inspiration. 

When you’re ready to chat about starting your lawn out with sod reach out to B&B Hoffman Sod, we would love to help! Turfgrass sod creates a soft, clean, and safe playing surface for children and pets, provides a great environment for lawn games, and improves family entertaining.