Winter Lawn Maintenance
What Can I Do to Take Care of My Lawn During the Winter?
Many people believe that as soon they finish winterizing their sprinkler systems and raking their leaves, they are done messing with their lawns until spring arrives. However, to ensure that your lawn is prepared to thrive once the ground thaws next year, you should still do some winter lawn maintenance during the cold weather months. Here are some tips on the best way to take care of your lawn during the chilliest months of the year.
Before it Freezes
If you are reading this before the first freeze, congratulations! You still have time to winterize your sprinkler system and mow your grass down to the lowest possible level before the really bad weather hits. Winterizing sprinklers ensure they do not get damaged (or damage your landscaping) when freezing temps hit and mowing your grass short will help discourage field mice and other pests from burrowing in to keep warm.
Early winter is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. Since most lawns in our area are made up of cool season grasses like bluegrass, the weeks before the first freeze are an excellent time for these grasses to soak up the nutrients that were lost during the hot months. When you fertilize in early winter, your lawn has all season to soak up the nutrients while it hibernates under the snow and ice and it will be that much more lush and green come spring.
Keep Items Off It
Since you’re not outside as often in the colder months, it can be easy to leave items lingering on your lawn—especially when they are covered by the first snow fall. However, items like lawn furniture, logs, or lawn care items can leave dead spots on your lawn if they linger too long. Even if you try your best to revive these spots once spring comes, it may stay stunted and thin-looking for months until it can catch up.
Keep People Off It
Most people naturally stay off the grass when it’s lush and green, but many people throw this etiquette out the window during months when the grass is brown or covered with snow. If a path is worn through your yard due to excessive foot traffic during the winter, it can have a tough time recovering in the spring. To make sure your guests and neighbors avoid walking on your lawn, ensure your sidewalk and walkways are clear of ice and snow during the cold season.
Though cold-weather lawn maintenance is not nearly as time-intensive as spring and summer care, there are still some best practices you should follow to ensure your lawn is as healthy as possible. When spring rolls back around, you’ll be glad you put in the extra effort.