This article is by Lawn Doctor
As jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin spices get replaced with cornucopias and sleigh bells, your lawn will soon finish growing for the year. Cool-season grasses frost in winter and warm-season grasses go dormant. Since your lawn will not be very active over the next few months, it will not require quite as much maintenance. Despite this, there are several things you should do to protect the grass in winter and get your lawn ready for spring. Here’s some winter lawn care advice to keep in mind:
Spot-treat Lawn Weeds and Diseases
When preparing your lawn for winter, it’s a good idea to have herbicides applied to any weedy areas. Weed issues will only get worse if they are ignored, so it’s best to take care of them early.
When caring for cool-season grasses in winter, you might experience snow mold. This is a lawn fungus that thrives in wet and cold conditions, which can kill your grass. This can be prevented by having a winter fertilizer applied before the first frost. Fertilizer helps the grass store nutrients needed to survive the winter but doesn’t promote fall growth.
A low-nitrogen fertilizer is used when caring for warm-season grasses, to protect against a variety of weeds and keep your grass healthy.
Don’t Stress the Grass
Areas of the country that get snow in winter will experience significant lawn stress. Heavy blankets of snow will put pressure on the grass, which can cause your lawn to brown out or die. Avoid walking on the lawn to limit this damage, since foot traffic can severely worsen this problem. Try taking your kids to a park to play in the snow instead of in your own yard.
Another stressor to grass during the colder months is salt. Avoid shoveling snow that is full of salt onto grass and salting areas near the grass. If possible, use a calcium chloride-based mixture which is less harmful on turf.
Clear Your Yard of Objects and Debris
Remove any lawn objects before winter starts. Grass that is trapped underneath outdoor furniture, toys, and decorations will likely die due to a lack of sunlight, so remove as many items from your lawn as possible.
Also, rake leaves thoroughly before caring for cool-season grasses in the winter. Get the yard clear before the first frost to make leaf removal easier. You might accidentally rip up turf when you rake over frozen grass.
Winterize Your Lawn Mower
Make sure to mow your lawn one last time before you winterize your lawn mower. Winterizing lawn mowers refers to the process of fixing up and properly storing your lawn mower at the end of the mowing season. These tasks include:
- Sharpening mower blades
- Changing the oil
- Tightening loose parts
- Inspecting for leaks and other problems
- Draining any remaining fuel
- Checking the manual for additional maintenance
Your local Lawn Doctor may offer Lawn Mower Maintenance to ensure you’ve properly winterized your lawn mower, so give us a call for expert inspection and repair.*
Spring into Action
Both warm and cool-season grasses will start growing again in spring. Take notice of when your lawn begins to grow so you can begin to mow and water again and getting your grass ready for spring. Just as you should in winter, stay on the lookout for weeds and diseases.
Contact Lawn Doctor, and we’ll come over to inspect your lawn for these ailments once it’s ready to grow again. It’s a great idea to start caring for your grass early, so it’ll be ready to thrive along with the blooming flowers and budding trees.
Getting the lush, green lawn you’re striving for starts far before springtime. Take care of your turf in the winter by following our winter lawn care tips and you’ll have a headstart come growing season.