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.

 

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!

Maintaining Your Lawn in a Minnesota Drought

Maintaining a lush lawn can be a chore during these long heatwaves- even more so if there are watering restrictions. Your once beautiful green lawn may now be crunchy and brown. Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping your lawn healthy during this Minnesota drought.

Mowing during a drought: We suggest avoiding mowing during a drought. Your lawn is likely under stress and will have a hard time recovering from mowing. If you must mow be sure to set your deck higher, to around 3 inches. Taller grass will be able to shade its fragile root systems and keep the soil moist.  Avoid mowing areas that have a “dead” look to them. 

Be sure your mower blades are sharp. When a lawn is cut with sharp blades, healing takes place quicker. Dull blades tear the plant rather than cutting it, which leads to more damage and stress to the grass.

Watering your lawn in a heatwave: A lot of Minnesota is under a watering ban so be sure to check your local regulations before getting your sprinkler out. If you’re allowed to water be sure to get started before 8 AM; optional water times are 5:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The cooler temperatures help slow evaporation and minimize extra stress on your grass. Water enough to wet the roots and don’t water again until the grass has dried.

If you are under a watering ban prepare for the next rain by setting up a rainwater collection system. For every inch of rain, you can collect more than 500 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet of the catchment area. There are commercial systems and DIY options- do some research to find which would be the best option for you.

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

Summer Lawn Care Tips for Your Minnesota Lawn

Our Minnesota “spring” has been rare with record-setting 90 degree days. And as the 4th of July comes and goes, the heat will continue. Our lawns have been hammered by high heat and drought over the last couple of months and as you drive around the countryside it shows. Check out a few of these pointers to keep your lawn looking its best.

Soaking sessions. Most lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water every week. Since the rainfall has been sparse, we suggest watering occurs 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 or continued 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.

To learn more about 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.

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.

Creating a Yard Your Kids Will Love

With a little bit of planning, low-maintenance landscaping, and the right natural turfgrass in Minnesota, it’s easy to turn your yard into an oasis that your whole family can enjoy. If you have young children, consider the following tips to ensure they will love heading outdoors to enjoy your yard.

Creating a Lush Lawn

Your lawn is the starting point for a kid-friendly backyard– it provides a soft, comfortable area for all kinds of activities. Whether your kids enjoy picnics outdoors or want to play a game of touch football, a healthy lawn will make a perfect area. Installing sod in your yard is a great option if you don’t currently have grass, or your existing lawn is unhealthy. Within a few hours, turfgrass sod transforms bare soil to a living carpet of grass with a mature density that looks great instantly.

Kid-Friendly Landscaping Options

Depending on your budget and your yard, there are multiple options for landscaping. Large trees are great for backyards to provide shade. Consider planting flowers that consist of your kids’ favorite colors or giving them their own garden areas to maintain. If you have young children, be sure to research before choosing plants for your landscaping, as some can easily end up in curious toddlers’ mouths.

Fun Options for Play

Kids are sure to love a trampoline, sandbox, or maybe a playground as a fun element in your backyard. Other options could be lawn games such as bocce ball, or corn hole. If your kids (and maybe you) want to stay cool during the summertime, you may want to add a sprinkler or an inflatable pool into your plans.

The options are endless, use your creativity, and create the perfect backyard oasis! If you want a lawn that is family-friendly, and can be enjoyed this summer, beautiful natural turfgrass sod is a great start.

B&B Hoffman Sod is your source for the highest quality sod in Minnesota. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff are committed to answering all of your questions to ensure a stress-free experience with your new Minnesota sod lawn. Whether you wish to sod a small play area for the family or an entire neighborhood or business, B&B Hoffman Sod can help you make it happen. To learn more about  B&B Hoffman Sod Farms and our family business, visit us online at bbhoffmansodev.wpengine.com or call 763-434- 6572.

 

Improve your lawn with new sod, even in late summer heat!

If you’ve spent most of the summer trying to get grass seed to sprout, only to have a mud pit in your yard, consider trying sod. Available in multiple sizes, sod is easy to install and maintain, offering a lush, beautiful lawn before the leaves begin to fall.

Preparation. To create a thriving lawn, it is important to first prepare the soil. Loosen the top six to eight inches of soil by raking or tilling, adding any amendments your particular soil may need (such as clay, sand, or peat moss). Level the surface with a rake and grade toward walkways or driveways as needed. 

Installation. Sod can be installed anytime, but in August homeowners need to be diligent with watering. 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. 

Water regularly. 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. Remember to water 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. 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 and Maintenance. Mowing stimulates root growth; therefore, you want to mow around the 10 day mark. Ensure your mower is on the highest setting to help evenly distribute the moisture it receives and slow the spread of disease. Consider bagging the clippings the first few times to stimulate further root development. Allow your lawn about a month of growth, then feed it with fertilizer to counteract any nutrients that may have been lost due to heavy watering in the beginning of the process.

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. Learn more about sod and the products B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers by visiting 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.

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.