Prepare Your Lawn For Winter
Do you want a beautiful lawn next Spring? A little bit of extra work now will reap a ton of benefit after the snow melts away. It’s not even all that hard of work to prepare your lawn for Winter. Just follow these few basic steps and see a lush lawn come the new year!
You’ll need a few tools on hand before you start the work:
- A rake
- Garden fork or aerator
- Horticulture grade sand
- Lawn mower
Prepare Your Lawn For Winter
Over the course of Winter, your turf grass does go dormant. But that doesn’t mean you have to let it go and not take care of it until snowfall. Follow these steps to get a healthy lawn with lush grass that will be the envy of your neighbors.
Step 1: Clear All Debris
Rake up and remove all the leaves that have fallen onto your lawn before snow locks them in. If you don’t do this, then the leaves will compact against the grass, preventing it from getting air or water. So, you’ll have brown patches come Spring. Not only that, but harmful moss can set in, bringing in fungal diseases. Also, clear your lawn of weeds. Remove all crabgrass.
Step 2: Aerate The Lawn
Once all the leaves have been cleared away, take an aerator or a pitchfork and start making little holes in your lawn. This will make it easier for air and water to reach the root system. Be thorough in this process with the holes not too far apart. once you’ve finished, sprinkle the horticulture grade sand over your lawn. This will make sure that the holes don’t just close up on their own.
Step 3: Fertilize
Some people think that because the lawn is dormant that the Fall isn’t the right time to fertilize, wait until Spring. Here’s the thing, a majority of North American lawns have cool season grasses, like Bermuda or bluegrass. This means that the hot Summer leached away a lot of the nutrients your grass needs. Feed the lawn in the Fall, so it isn’t starving come the end of the season.
Step 4: Keep Mowing The Lawn
There’s a science to doing this to prepare your lawn for Winter. Optimally, you want the grass to only be an inch to an inch and a half tall by the time snow comes. But DO NOT just cut it down to that size all at once. If you do, you’ll harm the delicate plant that is grass, creating a dead patch that you’re trying to avoid by doing all this in the first place. Instead, cut it down in stages, over time, avoiding trauma.
Why you want to do this is because longer grass falls prey to mice and gophers and other burrowing animals looking for a warm place to sleep. Those nests create more dead spots, plus they are using your grass to build their nests, pulling the plants up.
Step 5: Keep Lawn Traffic To A Minimum
Once you have everything in place, it’s sometimes hard to remember not to walk on the grass. This is especially true after snowfall. Some people might use a snowblower to clear a path over the lawn to a backyard door. Don’t do that. If you create regular walkways over your lawn, it will be well worn and take a long time to bounce back even after the snow melts.
This is why you especially don’t want to park any cars on a lawn. Can you imagine what the heavy tread is doing to the delicate grass plant beneath?
Proper preparation in the Fall will reap benefits come the Spring! A little planning goes a long way.