Winter is the time of year when everybody hurries inside to get out of the cold and stay warm. Nothing reminds you of this like the sharp, chilly wind in your face or the cold rain soaking your clothes. But you’re not the only one affected by the cold. Your lawn can be severely affected by harsh winter weather and colder temperatures. There’s a lot that Old Man Winter can throw at your lawn. So what can you do to make sure that your lawn survives the cold and comes back even healthier in the spring? Here are some winter lawn care tips that you can follow to help protect your grass from winter’s harsh invasion.
Prepare Early with Fertilization Late fall to early winter is the prime time to fertilize cool season grasses – and chances are that your lawn has this type of grass in it (bluegrass is a popular example.) This will give your lawn a much-needed head start since the nutrients in it will stay in the soil and nourish your grass for the rest of the winter. And once the cold season wraps up, your lawn will return in great condition.
Gradually Lower Your Grass Believe it or not, your grass can suffer shock if cut too low too quickly when it gets cold. This can inhibit its growth even after winter passes. You should keep your grass low enough to keep out pests like field mice and other pests that can devastate your lawn if its too long. But you shouldn’t cut your grass too low either. Cutting your grass extremely low can expose its crown to extreme weather conditions, which will hurt its long-term growth.
Remove Foreign Objects from Your Lawn Leaving objects on your grass (such as logs, lawn furniture, large toys, etc.) during the cold can create large, barren areas by pressing down on the grass. This will stunt the grass’ growth and create inconsistencies in your lawn. Clear any and all objects from the lawn after your final lawn cutting before winter, and keep an eye out for any other objects that may make their way into your yard during the cold season.
Limit Traffic on Your Lawn During the cold of winter, your grass will be in a vulnerable state. If a lot of people walk on it or drive on it, then it will not recover well–even when spring comes. Keep unnecessary traffic, foot and vehicle, off your lawn.
Keep an Eye on the Weather Extreme weather conditions can cripple your lawn’s development, and you may not realize it. Keep up with the weather in your area and watch for frost, ice, and deep freezes. If you find out any of these conditions are headed your way, take precautions to protect your lawn. After a freeze, be sure to break up any ice over your lawn if possible.
Your lawn is naturally hardy and durable, but Jack Frost will push it to its limits. Be sure not to neglect your lawn during the cold season. By implementing proper winter lawn care, you will ensure that your lawn will wake from hibernation as green, healthy, and strong as ever.