Make your Minnesota home or garden stand out with a lush, green lawn. Basic lawn management principles apply to gardeners in Minnesota as they do to all parts of North America, but there are state-specific differences at play, like a high annual rainfall.
Select a cool-season grass. The most popular species in the state is Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), according to the University of Minnesota. In northern Minnesota, the university recommends fescue (Fescuta sp.), while perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) grows well in the state's warmer southern regions.
Once a lawn is established, Minnesota lawns usually don't need water except in the summer, according to the University of Minnesota. The university estimates that lawns need approximately 4 to 6 inches of water during the summer months, and receive about 4 inches of water monthly from rain during the same time period. Watch the grass for signs of drought--this includes wilting and a blue-gray hue--to determine if water is needed. Apply enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 5 to 7 inches; this encourages deep root growth and makes the grass more resistant to drought.
An application of standard lawn fertilizer, administered every eight to 10 weeks during the spring, summer and fall growing seasons, will help encourage a lush and dense lawn that's resilient to weeds and diseases. Apply fertilizer up until two weeks before the first frost date in your specific region in Minnesota. For a more environmentally friendly and sustainable lawn, leave the grass clippings on the top of the lawn after it has been mowed. This returns nutrients to the soil, according to the University of Minnesota.
Gardeners can best control weeds by maintaining a thick and dense lawn, which crowds out all invading plant species. If weed control is needed, a combination of pre-emergent herbicides and post-emergent chemicals will keep weeds in check. Break the weed life cycle by treating the lawn with any pre-emergent herbicide product. This kills the weed seeds and is best when applied at the beginning of May in Minnesota, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Selective post-emergent herbicides will control any germinated weeds and won't harm your grass. Spray them on the lawn in May and August when the outside temperature is a minimum of 60 degrees F.