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Extension > Garden > Lawns and turfgrass management > Lawn care > Sustainable lawn care calendar and growth cycle

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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.

Cornell University

Cool season turfgrass growth cycle

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:

Schedule for sustainable lawn care practices based on the life cycle of cool season turfgrass in Minnesota

Calendar for optimal lawn care timing

References

2017

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