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Winter is a quiet time in the garden. During those cold months, taking care of the lawn is perhaps is the last thing that comes to our mind. We spend very little time in our yards, as it is mostly covered with snow. However, maintaining your lawn in the winters will keep it healthy so that it’s in good shape for the springs.
Here are seven simple tips to taking care of your lawn grass in the winters and create a fresh, ready to impress backyard-
Fertilize The Lawn To Stimulate Root Growth
Whatever season of the year is, a healthy lawn requires three major components:
- Nitrogen (N) for dense green top growth
- Potassium (K) for the general health of the grass
- Phosphorus (P) for root growth
Besides these components, grass also requires some micronutrients, including iron, zinc, etc. Good-quality, organic fertilizers can supply all these nutrients to the lawn grass.
Using fertilizers to cover the lawn in the late fall, or early winters help to replace any lost nutrients that might occur during the first frost. When the snow falls, and ground freezes, these fertilizers feed the soil and roots which get hidden underneath. And, you’ll be surprised to find a green, healthy lawn in the springs.
One thing to keep in mind is don’t fertilize the lawn when the soil is frozen. It will serve no purpose as most of the nutrients will wash away.
Consider Pre-Winter Seeding
Now that you’ve fertilized your lawn before snowfall, what about the grass that is already dead and damaged? If there are dead spots under the snow, it restricts the growth. So, it’s crucial to seed the lawn. And, over-seeding is the best technique to tackle this problem.
Pre-winter seeding in August to September is considered the best time to plant the seed. Once you spread the seeds, make sure to water the spots every day until the frost or snow sets in. This way, you’ll be left with a healthy lawn for the next season.
Perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, or fine fescues are some of the recommended species for over-seeding.
Mow Or Scalp Close To The Ground
If you leave the grass long in the winters, it will affect the overall health of the lawn. The tall blades of the grass will fold over and get packed down with the ice or snow. So, the lawn won’t be able to breathe and begin to die, leaving dead grass for the springtime.
To prevent this, lower the blade on your mower little by little to cut the grass shorter. Two passes on the mower are necessary to remove the grass or any thatch from the lawn. It enables you to cut the grass shorter gradually. If you cut all the grass in one shot, it may kill the grass even before the winter hits.
The first mow should remove the top growth, and the second pass should cut the remaining growth while leaving some grass as a cover for the seed. If you don’t have much time to maintain your lawn, a professional lawn mowing service is worth spending money!
Lawn Weeding In The Winters
By pulling the leftover weeds during prep time, you clean your lawn of anything that may kill the grass. The best way to control weeds is to focus on taking care of the grass. Fall is a time to control henbit, dandelions, or other weeds. You can either dig them up or treat the problem area with a herbicide.
Aerate The Lawn To Let The Grass Breathe
During the summer months, the soil becomes hard. When the cold weather comes in, it creates a problem, as the soil can’t breathe. You can imagine your lawn turning to hard concrete and snow falling at the top. If this happens, the root system can’t thrive.
By aerating, you plug small plugs of soil to create pores. It opens up the surface soil, allowing the root system to breathe and absorb the nutrients from the fertilizers. It creates a root-shoot or rhizome to create a better-looking lawn in the springs.
Remove The Fallen Leaves Before Snowfall Hits
If you don’t remove the fallen tree leaves, the lawn grass won’t get light and die. One smart alternative to leaf removal is pulverization. It involves grinding the fallen leaves with a mulching powder and letting them decompose on the lawn.
Avoid Lawn Traffic In The Winters
Frozen grass is susceptible to traffic damage. Though your lawn can tolerate moderate amounts of traffic, too much traffic makes it heavily worn. It may also experience compaction. So, it’s better to avoid walking on the grass until the snow melts.
Also, make sure that your lawn has adequate drainage; it will minimize the ice damage. Fill the low-lying areas in the lawn where water gets accumulated after the rainfall. Less standing is the water in your lawn; better the lawn will be!
With these easy tips, make sure that your winter lawn care plan is ahead of time. Keep an eye on the forecast, and have enough time to put your plan into action.