MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a seemingly endless winter, Minnesotans are finally seeing the grass of their lawns. But it’s not that pretty green grass that we like to see. Most yards are likely filled with patches of brown.
Many were out raking over the weekend when it was warm and sunny, but a turf grass educator with the University of Minnesota has some more advice.
“I know everyone is going to get excited to get out and do their lawn care practices in the 70-degree temperatures we are going to have,” agronomist Sam Bauer said. “My recommendation is to wait until the soil is dry. We can do more harm than good if we get out there too early.”
That’s right. Bauer, an expert in soil management, said right now it’s best to wait.
“The grass would be fragile if it is muddy. We also have an increase in compaction if the soil is wet. If we have traffic on it, it we are walking on it or have equipment on it, it is not a good situation,” he said. “Make sure the surface is dry. Make sure the soil is dry as well.”
Bauer said Minnesota is seeing two common problems right now. The first is pink snow mold, or generally dead areas that you want to let dry out before removing.
The other problem is vole damage. Voles are field mice. Bauer showed WCCO a patch of dead grass that looked similar to snow mold. The difference was that it was not still attached to the soil, so Bauer said it was appropriate to rake it up right then.
Bauer said that we usually see snow mold on north-facing lawns and when the snow falls on unfrozen ground. He did not recommend any products; he said it just needs exposure to sun.
The University of Minnesota has some very helpful websites to help with lawn care and gardening, and most counties in the state have a gardening hotline you can call to get questions answered.