Keeping your lawn looking at its best during the fall, spring and summer months is no small feat. In addition to regular mowing and watering, homeowners need to be diligent about pulling weeds and inspecting for signs of soil erosion.
Given all the effort you put into maintaining a healthy lawn, leaving your grass to fend for itself against the elements during the winter months is nothing short of a waste.
However, many homeowners believe they have no choice but to abandon lawn care until the first sign of spring.
Fortunately, keeping your lawn alive and well throughout the winter is far from a lost cause. Homeowners interested in winterizing their lawns can benefit from putting the following pointers to good use.
When considering effective ways to winterize your lawn, you mustn’t overlook the importance of fertilization.
Fall is the most crucial time of year to fertilize your lawn, as this is when grass’s top growth begins to slow down for it to store nutrients for the forthcoming winter months.
The nutrient-storing process will continue for as long as your grass remains green, and sufficient nutrient storage is essential to staving off plant diseases that attack while grass is in a dormant state.
As such, fall fertilization plays an invaluable role in keeping your lawn alive throughout the winter – and ultimately determining how healthy it will be come spring.
Like fertilization, aeration is an essential piece of prep work for anyone who wants their lawn to survive the winter. The aeration process involves creating small holes in the soil to allow air, water and various nutrients to penetrate the roots.
Regular nutrient penetration enables roots to grow deeper, thereby making the grass stronger. Grass that has a tendency to dry out or take on a spongy texture can often be traced back to insufficient aeration.
Aerating your lawn can also go a long way in preventing soil compaction, which can make surviving the winter all but impossible. While basic aeration can be carried out with a run-of-the-mill spade, heavy-duty aeration generally requires the aid of specialized tools and lawn care professionals.
Since it’s generally not recommended that you mow your lawn during the winter, you’ll need to make your final fall mowings count.
Throughout the fall, it’s important to avoid mowing too short, as this will impede the growth of stunted roots. As a good rule of thumb, your fall mowing height should be a half-inch above your recommended summer height.
However, for your final mowing of the fall season, the mowing height should a half-inch below the standard summer height, as this will be its last mowing for a good long while.
Additionally, if you use a mulching mower, the clippings from the final mowing should be left out on the lawn. These clippings will act as mulch, which will protect the crowns of the grass and provide it with important nutrients.
Weeds can be a healthy lawn’s worst enemy. Weeds tend to be far sturdier than grass and are able to spread at a rapid pace, particularly when grass is in a vulnerable state.
Furthermore, weeds grow very quickly during the winter months and can quickly overtake entire lawns throughout this period. With this in mind, make a point of meticulously weeding your lawn in the lead-up to wintertime.
Homeowners who want their lawns to thrive should be vigilant about raking throughout the fall. Leaves and other forms of debris that aren’t functioning as mulch should be removed from your lawn posthaste.
Although some lawn mowers can chop leaves into mulch, large quantities of leaves take a long time to break down and can suffocate lawns. As an added danger, leaf piles provide bacteria and other harmful organisms with homes in which to prosper.
During the fall, spring and summer months, homeowners spend a substantial amount of time tending to their lawns. Mowing, watering, weeding and fertilizing are high atop many people’s chore list when the weather is agreeable. Wintertime, however, is a different story.
Due to the harsh weather conditions synonymous with this season, some homeowners turn a blind eye to lawn care until the first sign of spring. While this approach may provide you with a break from caring for your lawn, it can have adverse effects on the lawn’s long-term well-being. To ensure that your lawn remains healthy and vibrant year-round, don’t hesitate to put the previously discussed tips into practice.