After summer is over and the leaves start to fall, and the temperature is getting chilly, you will use your lawn less. However, it is good to carry out the maintenance tasks for your yard, preparing it for the winter. It helps prevent the snow from damaging your grass and ensure it comes up green during spring. After all, you do not want all the hard work you have put into maintaining your lawn this year to be undone next spring.
Prepare your lawn for the winter:
- Step 1: When to Stop Mowing
- Step 2: Stop Irrigating
- Step 3: Keep Mosquitoes Off Your Lawn
- Step 4: Take Care of The Trees and Shrubs
- Step 5: Work on The Bare Patches
- Step 6: Aerate Your Lawn
- Step 7: Dethatch Your Lawn
- Step 8: Follow the Right Pre-Winter Lawn Treatment
- Step 9: If Needed, Contact A Professional
- Step 10: Leave some snow on your lawn
The right time to prepare your lawn for the harsh winter is during fall. Remember to perform the standard maintenance practices, which involves removing the debris, watering, and cutting the lawn. That keeps your yard healthy and ensures that even when the temperatures get to the freezing point, the grass’s natural tolerance will withstand such temperatures.
Taking extra precautions when it is still dry will positively impact your lawn come spring. If you are looking for the ideal practices to prepare the yard for winter, be sure to perform the methods discussed below. However, you first need to understand what happens to your lawn during winter.
- Learning How to Winterize Your Lawn
- Preparing your lawn for the winter
- ● Step 1: When to Stop Mowing
- ● Step 2: Stop Irrigating
- ● Step 3: Keep Mosquitoes Off Your Lawn
- ● Step 4: Take Care of The Trees and Shrubs
- ● Step 5: Work on The Bare Patches
- ● Step 6: Aerate Your Lawn
- ● Step 7: Dethatch Your Lawn
- ● Step 8: Follow the Right Pre-Winter Lawn Treatment
- ● Step 9: If Needed, Contact A Professional
- ● Step 10: Leave some snow on your lawn
- Final remarks
Learning How to Winterize Your Lawn
The first method of winterizing your lawn is to understand what happens during different weather seasons. The lawn best prospers during spring, whereas summer tends to make the lawn dry up due to the extreme heat. However, when fall starts, the plants or grass in your yard adjusts differently by:
- Storing the right nutrients.
- Conserving moisture.
- Increasing energy storage.
That is why you should get busy during the fall to ensure the trees, shrubs, flowers, and other vegetation stay healthy and are protected during the harsh winter storms. The procedure is relatively straightforward as long as you get it right. You should know how heavy the winter storms get in your area to determine the right ways of protecting your lawn.
● Useful Tools When Winterizing Your Yard
- Power aerator
- Gardening gloves
- Leaf rake
Preparing your lawn for the winter
So, which procedures should you use to ensure your yard is ready for the winter?
● Step 1: When to Stop Mowing
It would be best if you started cutting the grass in the fall every 14 days until no more leaves are falling, but also look at the length to ensure you do not cut it too short. If you live in warm areas, the grass’s recommended height is 1.5 inches, whereas; 1.75 inches is the right length for people living in a cold region. However, it is best to look at the minimum height depending on the type of grass you have, so talk to the experts in the area so that you do not make it too short. These people help you know the length of the grass to protect it during the winter season. Knowing the right height reduces fungi growth when it starts snowing and delays the cutting process until the weather is conducive.
● Step 2: Stop Irrigating
Since it is colder than before, the grass no longer needs a lot of water, so reduce the number of times that your sprinklers run. It ensures that the water does not freeze and that your lawn stays in excellent condition. It is also the right way to save water, making it a win-win situation for you. When the temperature starts to drop, the sprinkler system needs to be winterized.
● Step 3: Keep Mosquitoes Off Your Lawn
It is one of the essential preparations that many people forget when preparing their lawns for winter. Go around your yard to ensure there are no containers or other items that might collect stagnant water. Mosquitoes breed in a cold climate so, if you provide them with a breeding ground, you will be dealing with these annoying insects all winter. Look at the flowerbeds, garden pots, and the rainwater barrels and drain the water from those containers. Those are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Taking the extra step lets you enjoy warm nights without bites, mainly if your area receives mild winters since mosquitos are active all year round in such places.
● Step 4: Take Care of The Trees and Shrubs
Your lawn vegetation, including trees and shrubs, should be protected, and you should know the right preventative measures that keep the vegetation healthy. Besides raking up the leaves and cleaning out the flower beds, you should also include deep root fertilization for proper growth and nutrition. Most plants do not get into dormancy until December, so since their roots are still supplying nutrients in October and November, that should be the best time to add fertilizer. Deep root fertilization is a perfect way to winterize your trees and shrubs as it has the following advantages:
- Supply nutrients: It helps supply the nutrients to the plants, which helps in root and plant development.
- Strengthen: Strengthen your plants to survive the extreme winter conditions.
- Fight pests and diseases: Assist your plants in fighting pests and diseases during winter.
● Step 5: Work on The Bare Patches
There will be bare patches on your lawn during summer, so look for special patching kits to do the job. You can use quality topsoil or compost to offer the right coverage to the patches. If you choose to add seeds in those areas, only apply a small number of seeds to avoid weak growth due to lack of proper nutrients.
● Step 6: Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating your lawn helps the fertilizer, air, and water to get deep into your grass. But, it would be best if you did so before the winter sets in and also remove foreign plants and weed to keep your lawn ready for the spring season. Remember always to add new seeds to your yard after aeration, and the fall season is the right time for the seeds to sprout.
● Step 7: Dethatch Your Lawn
Thatch is best described as the dead grass and plant matter found at the base of your grass. It becomes a complication if it is too much, and you should dethatch before the winter hits. The process exposes your lawn to light, nutrients, and water so that you can have healthy vegetation in your yard. Use rakes, forks, or a power dethatch machine to remove the dead grass and discard it. Water your lawn if you want the grass to recover.
● Step 8: Follow the Right Pre-Winter Lawn Treatment
There are a couple of treatments you should consider applying on your lawn to ensure it is ready for the winter season:
- Adding Fertilizer: Using a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen or potassium adds more nourishment to the yard, ensuring it survives the harsh conditions. The grass grows sluggishly during the cold season, which is why adding fertilizer is a great booster. Your lawn can stay green during the winter months and flourish come spring.
- Use Weed Killer: If you still have persistent weed growth during the fall, using weed killer helps eliminate the stubborn ones as it lets you target individual weed plants. When you address the weed in fall, it gives your grass enough time to grow well, come spring.
● Step 9: If Needed, Contact A Professional
If you are busy to care for your yard or do not understand how to carry out the lawn maintenance preparation, contact professional lawn companies. Find a company that has exceptional customer services and is known to offer quality services to people.
● Step 10: Leave some snow on your lawn
Some homeowners plow around the sidewalks and remove the snow from the lawn but, that should not happen. The snow is insulation from the harsh climatic condition, so leave it on the lawn to serve its purpose. Plowing snow will reduce the chances of the patches of grass growing as needed, and your lawn will be patchy when spring hits.
● How Short Should You Cut the Grass?
Your lawn should be about 2 inches high by the time winter sets in since that will not attract snow mold and keep will it healthy. However, as you cut your lawn, ensure the grass is not too short as it will not be favorable for the cold weather. Ensure the trims are spread out for the lawn to withstand the cold season.
● When Does the Grass Stop Growing?
As long as the weather is warm, the grass will keep sprouting, and that stops if the temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It happens in early November in some places, while in the warm areas, you must cut the grass until early December.
When you winterize your lawn during fall, you will have a healthy and pretty lawn, so you should follow the safety precautions discussed above. The guidelines help your lawn survive winter so that you will enjoy spring and avoid winterkill, a phrase used to describe issues like soil compaction and snow molds on the property during the cold season. No matter where you live, the methods of preparing your lawn for the winter season are the same, from watering and removing debris to cutting the lawn, hence giving it time to burst with color and lead to healthy growth in the spring season. Plan well so that there is enough time to prepare before it starts freezing.