How To Prepare Your Lawn For Winter
While you might think your lawn doesn’t need any extra care to prepare for the winter, the lawn experts at The Green Team have a few key tips for making sure your lawn is ready for the upcoming season. Cold temperatures, snow and ice, and dryer conditions can all wreak havoc on your yard and cause serious damage if your lawn isn’t properly prepared for these drastic weather changes. If you want to make sure your yard survives the winter and will thrive in the spring, make sure to follow our 6 tips to winterize your lawn.
Tip #1: Clean Up Your Lawn
One of the first and most important steps to get your lawn ready for winter is clean up your yard. You should rake up and remove any debris like leaves, twigs, or sticks. Don’t forget to check under shrubbery and brush, as these areas are easily missed and can become problematic. Although this task can be time-consuming, it reduces the risk of lawn diseases like snow mold and other funguses that can crop up in the springtime. Clearing your yard of leaves and other debris prevents the retention of excessive amounts of moisture, as well as allows sunlight and airflow to nourish your grass plant’s roots throughout the season.
Tip #2: Remove Weeds
After cleaning your lawn, the next step is to get rid of any weeds. Not only will this make your yard look nicer throughout the winter, but pulling weeds now will help your yard thrive in the springtime as well. Overwintering weeds like dandelions or ground ivy can spread their seeds all over your lawn, meaning more work for you when the weather warms up. If left unchecked, these weeds will create competition for the grass in your lawn, stealing water and nutrients that otherwise would be helping your yard look full and lush.
Tip #3: Cut Grass Short
Another key step in winterizing your lawn is cutting the grass short. Cutting your grass short will help make your lawn look green all through the winter and will boost the health of your grass as the weather warms up next year. It is recommended that you decrease the height of your mower blades between one to two inches. You should make sure that you gradually decrease the height of your mower blades over the last several times you mow, and that your mower’s blades are still sharp and cut the grass cleanly.
Tip #4: Aerate Your Lawn
Soil aeration is an extremely important step in winter lawn care. The process of aeration creates small holes all over your yard, breaking up the different root and soil layers. This prevents your grass plants and their roots from becoming too dense. Be sure to be on the lookout for signs that your lawn needs aeration and get it done in the fall season.
Compacted soil can negatively affect your yard by:
- Hindering healthy root and grass plant growth.
- Creating a weed-friendly environment in your lawn.
- Stopping important nutrients and water from getting down to the grass plants’ roots.
Tip #5: Winter Fertilizer
Once your lawn has been properly aerated, the next step to get your lawn ready for the winter is to nourish it with fertilizers. Winter fertilizers encourage better, stronger grass growth and can help take your lawn from looking good to looking great.
Some of the most important fertilizers you’ll want to make sure to apply to your lawn this winter are:
- Nitrogen - Helps your lawn look greener in the spring.
- Potassium - A great vitamin for your yard that helps combat disease in warmer seasons and is essential for production of key nutrients in colder months.
- Lime - Helps to balance the pH of your soil.
Tip #6: Apply Fungicide
Like fertilizers, fungicides are another crucial part of winterizing your yard. Repeated freezing and thawing cycles and unpredictable winter weather can make your lawn more susceptible to fungal diseases like snow mold. While you might have done everything you could to prevent fungi from taking hold of your yard, sometimes you need a direct attack from a fungicide to get the job done. Applying a fungicide in the winter can help prevent the problem before it starts, leaving you with less to worry about in the spring and a healthy, fungus-free lawn.
Professional Lawn Care For The Winter
Lawn care is a year-round task that can become overwhelming and time-consuming if not properly managed. For all of your lawn care needs, be sure to contact your local lawn experts from The Green Team. Our professional technicians have the knowledge, experience, and techniques to help your lawn look beautiful and stay in top shape no matter the season.