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.

Summer Lawn Care Tips

Minnesota summers are short, sweet and the best time to live life outdoors. But, what fun is your yard if the grass is patchy, weedy, and uncomfortable to walk on? The basis for enjoying the outdoors and your yard is a lush lawn. Spending some time maintaining your grass requires a little more than watering and mowing but it will pay off. To enjoy soft green grass all summer long you will need to manage weeds and pests, and make sure your lawn has the nutrients it needs to handle the summer heat. Below are a few tips on how you can help your lawn flourish this summer and next.

Early Summer

  1. Treat for Pests & Weeds: Check with your local lawn care company about applying weed control and spraying for pests. You can also find weed and pest controls at a local hardware store to tackle it on your own.  
  2. Mow: Mow your grass high in the early summer and leave the grass clippings to break down and help feed the grass.
  3. Feed: Feeding in the early summer helps strengthen your lawn so it has a better chance to fight heat and drought conditions. We recommend a blend of fertilizer similar to 5-14-42 in the summer.

Mid Summer

  1. Water: Water deeply to ensure strong root growth. The goal is to water long enough to have the water penetrate the soil between 4-6 inches deep.
  2. Mow: 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 dries easily, often turning brown and spreading disease.

Late Summer

  1. Sharpen your Mower Blade: Dull blades can tear grass causing it to lose moisture more readily.
  2. Water in the Morning: Watering between 6 and 10 AM helps lessen the chances of water evaporation due to the summer heat.
  3. Watch for Weeds: If weeds reemerge, continue to spot spray.

If your lawn is looking less than desirable and you’re tired of it, give us a call to chat about installing natural turf grass for an instant transformation. Each piece is grown in uniform thickness and bred to be dark green, soft, and durable to withstand harsh climates. As a locally owned business with years of service, we can help you achieve a green, lush lawn that you can enjoy all summer long! Call us today at 763-434-6572 or email us at sales@bbhoffmansod.com

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.

 

Lawn Maintenance in Hot August Heat

August often brings high temperatures and sparse precipitation, leaving homeowners wondering how to best care for their lawn. Here are some tips to keep your lawn healthy throughout the season.

Reduce lawn maintenance–for now

Help your lawn beat the heat and make sure your mower is on the highest setting. This will help evenly distribute the moisture it receives and slow the spread of disease (and maybe allow you an extra hour or two on the lake!). Since August is typically a hot, dry month, you may notice browning in some areas, which is natural. Established grass is able to survive during a mild drought and can quickly rebound when moisture levels stabilize.

Review your sod options

Sod can be installed in August however, homeowners will need to be very diligent on watering, doing so at least once or twice a day for 8 days. After 8 days, the grass will tell you if it needs water by appearing bluish in color. If you have the opportunity, lay sod on a cool, overcast day to minimize plant stress. Stagger rolls in a brick-like pattern and place seams together without overlapping. Moisten the soil to a depth of 4 inches or until you can lift the sod and see that the water has penetrated through 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 sod, summer lawn care, and the products that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit us 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.