Due to the climate in the upper Midwest region of the United States, Minnesota turf grass must be a cool-season grass variety that will stay lush and green during the spring and autumn. Some common turf grasses that grow readily in Minnesota include tall and fine fescues, Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass (perennial). Perform basic lawn care in Minnesota to keep a landscape area looking healthy and attractive throughout the growing season.
Dethatch the grass early in the spring with the thatching rake or with an aerator to remove the old and dead grass that accumulates in a layer along the soil level. If you dethatch manually with the thatching rake, work your way through the entire turf systematically to rake up the thatch. If you dethatch with an aerator, operate the aerator over the entire area without missing any areas.
Rake the lawn after dethatching it. Use the garden rake to collect the dead grass and place it into the lawn bag.
Apply a granular pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide sometime during the month of April to prevent crabgrass from germinating within the turf. Pour the herbicide granules into the broadcast spreader and apply them in a concentration recommended on the herbicide label for the size of your lawn. If you wait until you see the crabgrass emerge, you might be too late to control crabgrass with pre-emergent herbicide. In this situation, you will need to use an herbicide with a formulation that contains quinclorac.
Mow the lawn for the first time when the grass grows to a height of at least 2.5 inches. Set the mowing height to 2 inches to prevent cutting the grass too short, which would stress the grass. Leave the grass clippings on the grass to provide beneficial nitrogen for the turf.
Fertilize the grass lightly with a nitrogen fertilizer after the first mowing. If you grow a high maintenance grass (Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass), apply between 1 and 4 lbs. of fertilizer over every 1,000 square feet of turf using the broadcast spreader. A low maintenance grass (fescues) might not need any fertilizer in the spring.
Provide water for the grass throughout the growing season only if less than 1 inch of rain falls within a one-week period. You may also opt to allow your grass to enter dormancy during any dry periods during the summer; it will quickly begin growing again when rain resumes in late summer and autumn.
Fertilize the grass again for the main fertilizer application in early autumn. Apply between 1 and 4 lbs. of granular fertilizer containing both nitrogen and potassium over every 1,000 square feet of grass with the broadcast spreader.
Continue mowing the grass regularly until it stops growing in late autumn.