Wait! It’s Still Too Early for Lawn Care!


Use This Handy Sustainable Lawn Care Calendar

This has been an unusual winter for Minnesota – very little snow and unusually mild temperatures. We’ve already enjoyed a couple weekends with temperatures in the 60s and everyone is looking forward to spending more time outside. But as much as you may be itching to get out in the yard and take care of those spring chores, DON’T! It’s still too early for lawn care, the ground temperature is too low and you may cause more harm than good to your lawn.

So when is it okay to get started on another season of lawn care? The University of Minnesota Extension Office published a lawn care calendar and guidelines for your reference.

Sustainable Lawn Care Calendar and Growth Cycle

Minnesota lawns of cool season turfgrasses bear the stress of changing weather and can survive harsh winters. These grasses endure throughout the seasons because they grow rapidly during spring and fall when temperatures are cool and then become inactive during the heat and drought of summer. A sustainable lawn care routine should support this natural life cycle of cool season grasses.

lawn care growth cycle
Cool season turfgrass growth cycle

Image Credit: Cornell University 

Seasonal plant growth cycle

In early spring, roots are long and full of nutrients stored from the fall. Shoots, the part of grass visible above ground, use this stored energy for growth.

In warm summer temperatures, leaf and root growth slow down. Plants rest during times of heat and drought. Roots can be damaged when soil temperatures are above 85°F.

In the fall months shoots start to grow again and nutrients are stored in the long roots for the winter. Optimal shoot growth occurs with air temperatures of 55 to 75°F.

Cool-season root growth is stimulated by soil temperatures above 32°F, and is optimal with soil temperatures between 50 and 65°F.

When to schedule lawn maintenance

It is important to schedule your lawn care maintenance during times that match the life cycle of the turfgrass.

Things to avoid:

  • Do not add fertilizer too early in the spring. This may encourage the grass to grow during a time when it should be slow or dormant.
  • Do not spray to control weeds when temperatures are warm. This increases the likelihood of damaging the lawn.
  • Do not fertilize in hot mid-summer months; this can cause irreversible damage to your lawn.
  • Crabgrass doesn’t develop until late spring or early summer, so don’t apply herbicide used to prevent pre-emerging crabgrass in the fall.
lawn care calendar
Sustainable Lawn Care Calendar and Growth Cycle

Image Credit: University of Minnesota Extension Office

Need help? Call the experts at Parkway Lawn Service!

free estimateNeed help with spring clean-up or aeration? Interested in our weekly mowing service? The experts at Parkway Lawn Service are ready to help you with all your lawn care needs, questions, and concerns. We have over 30 years of experience of serving customers in the Twin Cities. Click here for a free estimate, or contact us today at 612-869-5878 for all your lawn care needs.