MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It never fails. Those first 60-degree days of the year have people thinking about their lawns and gardens.

It just so happens the first 60-degree day of this year came very early.

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“Get out and enjoy the warm weather. There will be plenty of days ahead that you can do your lawn care,” Susie Bachman West of Bachman’s Floral said.

And that’s Bachman’s message to anyone thinking about getting started on their lawn. There is such a thing as starting too early.

“I’ve been cooped up for the last five months in the lab, so it’s nice to see these warm-up temperatures, and we’re excited to get out there and start doing some work,” Sam Bauer of University of Minnesota Extension said. “But it’s more of a hurry-up-and-wait thing.”

Bauer is a turf expert. He says even if the weather stays warm, it should still be two to three weeks before serious yard work begins.

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In fact, Bauer says your lawn needs a chance to get green.

“The area I’m standing on here had good snow cover, so the reality is it didn’t lose much of its greenness over the course of the winter,” Bauer said.

But inconsistent and below-average snow cover this winter — 19 inches below average to be exact — means a lot of lawns look brown. A lack of white snow means more brown grass.

“Go easy on the lawn right now is the best suggestion. If you have some leaves covering the lawn you can certainly get out here and lightly rake that up,” Bauer said. “But we are looking at two weeks, or maybe even three weeks before we get any type of equipment out there.”

We typically won’t see green grass until mid-April, but Bauer says if this weather keeps up we could be pretty green by the end of March.

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It really depends on how much snow cover your lawn had. One good sign is we didn’t get a lot of snow mold this year. That was a problem last year and it hurt a lot of lawns.

John Lauritsen