Mowing in Minnesota isn't exactly rocket science, but there's a lot that goes into a great mow — more than most people realize. At Lawn Love, we've made it our job to be experts of Minnesota lawns, which is why we offer our services in:
- Minneapolis, MN
And we don't just mow lawns, we also provide these services:
- Lawn Mowing
- Lawn Fertilization
- Lawn Aeration
- Weed Control
- Lawn Seeding
- Yard Clean Up
- Leaf Removal
- Gutter Cleaning
- Snow Removal
Whether you choose to do your lawn care yourself or hire a professional, it's important to know what goes into achieving a healthy and strong lawn through proper mowing. Here are some of our best mowing tips for your Minnesota lawn.
What Type of Grass You Have
The very first thing to do before you ever break out your lawnmower is to identify what type of grass you have. Two categories of grasses have been cultivated for lawns: cool-season and warm-season. In Minnesota, only cool-season grasses will do because of Minnesota's location so far north of the transition zone, producing cold winters and mild summers. These grasses do best at temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees, so their peak growing season will be in the spring and the fall.
The most common cool-season grasses in Minnesota are:
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Fine Fescue
You may have more than one type of grass growing in your lawn, so use this helpful identification tool to help you pinpoint what you've got!
If you're looking at seeding a new lawn or laying down sod, you should avoid these types of grass since they simply won't do well in Minnesota's climate:
- Annual Ryegrass
- Tall Fescue
The height at which you mow your grass is incredibly important for its health and beauty. After you identify your grass, then you can discover at what height it needs to be mowed to. The ideal mowing height for Minnesota lawns is:
- Kentucky Bluegrass — 2.0 to 3.5 inches in the summer, 1.5 to 2.5 inches in the spring and fall
- Fine Fescue — 2.0 to 3.0 inches in the summer, 1.5 to 2.5 inches in the spring and fall
- Ryegrass — 2.5 to 3.5 inches in the summer, 1.5 to 2.5 inches in the spring and fall
In the summer, mow your grass a little higher in order to:
- Shade the soil — This is a natural way to repel weeds to keep the seeds from germinating.
- Cool soil temperatures — This keeps the grass healthy since it prefers cooler soil.
- Keeps roots healthy — Taller cuts help to foster a deep and healthy root system, so it can absorb nutrients and water more effectively, keeping it more drought-resistant too.
- Less stress — Mowing is stressful to your lawn, which is why mower it less when it's hot out will keep it healthier.
A Few Things to Remember
When mowing your Minnesota lawn, it's important to remember a few key pieces of information. First and foremost, you should never cut off more than one-third of the blade of grass at a time. Doing so causes water loss and weakens your lawn, making it more susceptible to disease, pests, and weeds. If you miss a mowing and it gets too high, don't cut off more all at once. Cut away about half of what you want to and then slowly ease the grass down to the correct height again.
You also need to keep your mower maintained. Make sure the blades are sharpened regularly so that the cut made across the blades of grass is clean. Dull blades tear the grass instead of cutting it, which will contribute to deteriorating health of your lawn overall.
When it comes to lawn clippings, you should leave them after you mow. These clippings return essential nutrients to the lawn and reduce the need for fertilizer. If you're concerned they may contribute to thatch, you don't have to worry about that because the clippings will decompose too quickly to cause problems.
Your lawn is a living thing that is more complicated than it looks and caring for it can be tricky. If you need help, never forget that the pros at Lawn Love are here to lend their expertise and experience to improve the health of your Minnesota lawn!