Lawn care in Minnesota is an art. Sculpting the perfect length blade; watering and nourishing lush, green grasses; and cutting a beautiful checkered pattern in your lawn is the result property owners long for. In order to be crowned “Best Yard in the Neighborhood,” you need to take care of your yard year-round. Mowing and watering in the summer is important, but winter and fall lawn care is just as important to growing healthy, green grass.
Part of taking care of your yard year-round is knowing when the last mow of the season should take place. By preparing your lawn in the fall going into the winter, you will come out of the snow melt next spring refreshed and ready to go – and your grass will, too. Here are some winter and fall lawn care tips to prepare your grass for the cold months, starting with the last mow of the season.
When Should You Stop Mowing?
Into the fall months, your grass continues to grow. Just as during the summer, if your grass is growing, you should be mowing. As the season and weather shifts to fall, keep an eye on your grass and on the temperature. Typically, grass in MInnesota stops growing for the year when the temperatures drop to between 50 – 55 degrees fahrenheit during the day.
Once the temperature settles down to the 50 degree mark, consider mowing your lawn one last time for the year. In Minnesota, this is typically in mid-to-late October. (Of course, this can be much earlier or much later. We all know how Minnesota weather can be!) Keep this phrase in mind when preparing for the last mow of the season: “when your grass stops growing, you should stop mowing.”
How Long Should You Cut Your Grass in the Fall?
Cutting your grass the right height will get you the most for your fall lawn care. Some yard owners believe in cutting their grass shorter than normal, while others think they should cut their grass in the fall higher than they do in the summer. Cutting your grass in the fall should be treated similarly to cutting it during the summer. If you cut it too short, you risk scalping your grass and leaving it exposed to the elements as well as stunting its growth next year. On the other hand, leaving it too long can cause unwanted winter diseases such as pink snow mold.
The “right height” varies for different kinds of grass. In Minnesota, many yards consist of bluegrass. For Kentucky bluegrass, leaving it approximately 2.5 inches long is ideal for keeping it healthy in both the summer and winter. If your grass is too long to cut it down to this length in one go, prepare ahead of time and mow a few times, each time cutting your grass a bit shorter. By cutting your grass the right height in the fall, you will see it grow back healthier next year.
Final Fall Lawn Care Tips
To get the most out of your yard year-round, take the time to care for your grass and help it grow – even in the winter. Raking your leaves in the fall will help promote healthy grass growth. Excess leaves on your lawn can block out the sun. Additionally, soggy leaves that sit on top of your grass will seep into the ground and cause fungi and mold growth. You can mulch your leaves and put them in your garden or lawn to help promote growth through the cold seasons.
Whether you use leaves or other fertilizers, applying a nutrient-rich fertilizer to your yard in the fall will further help your grass grow and stay healthy year-round. Finally, aerating your yard in the fall helps your grass breathe a little bit. By aerating your yard in the fall, you can prevent rotting or plant diseases. Water and snow will seep deeper into the ground without soaking your soil. Come spring, your yard will be well taken care of.
Get More This Fall With Minnesota Equipment
Get ahead of a healthy lawn next year by taking the right steps this fall. By treating your grass properly and knowing when the last mow of the season should happen, you will keep your yard looking great for years to come. You might just receive the well-deserved “Best Yard in the Neighborhood” award.
For your year-round lawn maintenance needs, work with the team at Minnesota Equipment. Our professionals know what it takes to care for your yard, no matter the size. Whether you need a new lawn mower, an aerator or other lawn care equipment, visit one of our four metro locations and be on your way to your best yard yet.