During winters, your lawn and its vegetation are no longer in active growth mode. Winter care for lawns differs slightly from typical care during summer and spring. You need to prepare your grass and vegetation for the dormant weather ahead to keep it in excellent health and Lawn Care Maintenance throughout the season and early spring.
Here are the top ten lawn maintenance tips to keep your lawn healthy and green this winter:
1. Tree Care
In winter, your trees get a break from the summer heat. The extreme temperatures and heavy snow on dead or overgrown leaves and branches can put extra strain on them, halting their growth. Trimming and clipping encourage the plant to focus on fresh growth rather than fading areas, allowing it to grow stronger, healthier, and greener.
Areas with moderate winter temperatures, like Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa, and Orlando, don’t receive any snowfall. Late fall or early winter is a perfect time in such areas to prune, fertilize, and mulch your trees and prepare them for cold weather.
If you’re a resident of Austin, TX, you can explore easy tree care tips online. You can also hire professional help for tree health consultation or take up their services. Look for tree care Austin TX services for pruning and trimming. Some companies can also help you with brush removal, fertilization, and mulching.
2. Aerate Grass
If the soil is compacted and hardened, it loses its ability to absorb water. This causes water to accumulate around the top of the grass, damaging its roots and stems. And when the temperature drops, the grass will freeze and die.
Aerating the soil allows more water to soak deep down and lets more air and nutrients reach the grassroots. It also prevents the grass crown from damage during winter and helps reduce the growth of weeds and pests. If feasible, aerate your grass before the first frost.
3. Supply Adequate Fertilizers to the Grass
Grass needs essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to survive the cold weather and prepare for healthier growth in the following seasons. Once your grass has been aerated, fertilize it after the soil has loosened up. It will make the roots stronger and healthier during growth seasons.
Fertilizing your grass early winter can help repair damage caused by summer heat and promote root growth and horizontal expansion. Apply a fertilizer containing at least 10% nitrogen. Too little nitrogen will leave your lawn without nutrients before spring, resulting in disease or dead grass.
4. Mow Your Lawn Until the First Frost
Most warm-season grasses don’t require mowing by December as the growth slows down. However, you should keep mowing your lawn to induce both longitudinal and horizontal growth.
Mowing your lawn regularly will allow the grass to develop stronger stems and reduce space for weeds. It facilitates air circulation and protects the grass stems and roots from being too wet.
For best results in spring, try mowing your grass shorter before the first frost. Maintaining a height of around 2-3 inches prevents the growth of snow mold.
5. Tidy Up Your Lawn
Expecting snow any time soon? Time to grab a rake and tidy up your lawn! Leaves and sticks left on the grass restrict light and hold moisture.
Clean out fallen leaves and tree branches from the lawn and plant pots to allow more air and sunlight. However, don’t throw away the fallen leaves yet! Winter leaves contain nutrients that are beneficial to soil and grass health. You can use a leaf mulcher to bury the leaves into the lawn and prepare organic compost.
6. Water Your Lawn Regularly
Grass typically needs 1-1.5 inches of water a week in moderate weather and at least half an inch during winter. Instead of spraying a small amount of water multiple times each week, it’s preferable to water in higher quantities less frequently. This will help grassroots grow deeper, resulting in healthier grass in spring and summer.
You can also use an automatic sprinkler to alter the watering schedule and ensure your grass receives a uniform amount of water each time. If your area receives frequent rainfall, check the turf and soil to check whether or not your grass needs watering.
7. Plant Cool Weather Grass Seed
When your grass appears worn, ripened, or requires more water and fertilizer to grow, it is time to overseed it. Spread a generous amount of cold-weather grass seed, such as fescue, to keep a lawn looking greener during the winter. Overseeding your grass during late fall or early spring ensures lavishly green turf in hot weather.
You don’t need to dig up soil or tear existing grass to sow seed. Instead, use a fertilizer spreader to throw seeds over the existing turf and empty patches. However, make sure the grass soil is adequately aerated before throwing in the seeds. Water the lawn after you seed it to keep the soil wet as the new grass grows.
8. Use Weed Prevention Treatment
After you’ve finished overseeding your grass, it’s time to use pre-emergents or weed prevention treatments to prevent fall weed growth. Weeds grow quickly and take up the essential nutrients your grass and vegetation need to survive the winter.
Weed prevention treatments will halt weed growth but won’t affect lawn grass. Lawn care is needed.
9. Avoid Using Ice Chemicals on Grass
Chemicals such as rock salt or other commercial products for melting ice can permanently damage your lawn, plants, and vegetation. Be careful while using ice chemicals and avoid areas with any vegetation. Use them sparingly, or try using plant-friendly de-icing solutions if you must.
10. Locate and Treat Grubs
If your grass is wilting or turning brown without apparent cause, grubs may be the culprit. Grubs are the larvae of certain beetle species. They are C-shaped white that munch on grass roots. If you don’t control them, they can destroy entire patches of grass in no time.
By paying close attention to your grass, you can identify if you have a grub problem. Apart from using grub treatment to kill the larvae, you must also ensure that the eggs are destroyed before they hatch.
Maintaining a lovely lawn in the spring and summer requires extensive care throughout the year, even in the winter. Even though your grass, trees, and vegetation remain dormant during winter, the tips mentioned above will help you take care of your lawn, keep it healthy, and prepare the plants for spectacular spring growth.