Many homeowners breathe a sigh of relief when winter is nigh, because it means a few months off from weekly lawn care. While the need for frequent mowing is eliminated by winter’s first frost, it is important to take steps to care for your lawn during the colder months.
If you want a beautiful lawn come spring then take heed to these five top winter lawn care tips.
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to winterizing a lawn is that homeowners fail to fertilize the lawn in early winter. Cool season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda, Perennial rye and tall fescues actually need fertilizer at this time more than any other. Because these grasses are most common in states where winterizing a lawn is necessary, this is a step that should not be skipped.
When you fertilize in late fall or early winter (be sure to beat the first frost) the fertilizer will provide nutrients to the lawn throughout the cold months so it will be in the best possible condition come spring.
You may need to add lime to your soil before the first frost. Check the Ph levels in late fall to see if you need to take this step.
Short grass fares better during the coldest parts of winter than taller grass. You can prepare your lawn for the cold by cutting it a bit shorter than normal. You should lower the blade on your lawn mower gradually beginning in mid to late summer. When spring comes you can again allow the grass to grow to a taller height if desired.
Prevent Dead Spots
If you love showing off your lawn than the last thing you want to see when the snow melts is dead spots. You may not be able to prevent this completely, but there are some steps that you can take to prevent dead spots from developing.
- Remove lawn ornaments before winter. If you have fountains, bird baths or benches, consider putting them in storage during the winter months. Of course, if you have winter bird visitors, you may just want to move your aviary accommodations to a different spot, so you can still enjoy watching the feathered travelers.
- Remove debris. You will want to remove all debris before winter, but you should also take care to keep the lawn free of branches and other trash throughout the cold season. It is easy to ignore this task, especially since you probably won’t be spending much time outdoors. But if you allow litter to sit on the lawn then you’ll likely have dead spots come spring.
- Don’t walk on the lawn. Avoid walking on the fragile grass during the winter. You should especially avoid having a regularly traveled path on the lawn. If you do, there is a good chance that path will create a dead spot.
Prevent Snow Mold
In some areas that get a lot of snow, snow mold can be an issue. Snow mold appears as patches of dead grass with mold that is either pink or grey in color. Snow mold will need to be treated with a fungicide, but with a bit of prevention you can avoid this problem.
Some people stop cutting the grass when it starts getting cold, because they know winter is coming. But to best prevent snow mold you should keep cutting it until the grass is no longer growing. Also, if you have large piles of snow, it is best to spread the snow around so that it will melt more evenly and more quickly.
During the coldest part of the season it might feel like spring will never come, but it will. Help your lawn be ready to make its spring debut by following these easy winter lawn care tips.