Essential Lawn Care for Winter: Pro Tips for Healthy Grass
Discover how lawn care experts protect grass when temperatures begin to drop in the fall. Knowing the right way to care for a lawn in autumn will prevent a lot of trouble the following spring. But what do the professionals recommend once the leaves begin to fall? Find the steps that lawn pros take before winter sets in.
Taking care of the lawn in the winter will ensure that the turf is healthy and strong in the spring and summer. Some common problems that crop up include snow mold, winter kill, and brown patches. We compiled some helpful winter lawn care tips below that will keep the grass strong and healthy during the cold seasons.
Mowing the grass low protects any new shoots that emerge before the first frost appears. Cutting the grass low with the help of a lawn mower will also prevent rodents and pests from taking over the lawn. Maintain sharp mower blades to cut the grass low.
Lots of small critters seek tall grass plants for cover as they dig into the ground and create nests to hibernate for the winter. When spring approaches, the pests may destroy the lawn by undermining the grass, eating the roots, and damaging new growth.
Many trees shed leaves in autumn. These leaves collect in the yard if homeowners do not regularly rake them. Removing dried leaves from the lawn keeps the yard healthy. It protects the grass from excess moisture, suffocation, and lack of sunlight. Leaves and other debris in the lawn can also attract rodents, insects, and other pests that cause diseases.
Aerate the lawn at the end of autumn before the first snowfall. Aeration helps refresh the lawn’s soil and nourish its roots with oxygen and nutrients. Remember to feed winter fertilizer to the lawn after aeration so the grass roots receive extra nutrition.
A crucial part of winter lawn care involves fertilization before the cooler months. It ensures healthy, strong grass plant growth when spring comes around. Aerating the lawn before fertilization opens up the lawn soil and prepares the plants to receive nourishment.
Part of the effort to counter a winter drought includes seeding cool-season grasses, like fescues, in late summer or early fall. Although fescues are a dormant grass during the winter months, their roots continue to thrive. The roots will keep growing and storing nutrients for the next spring. Scatter the seeds over the freshly aerated lawn with the help of a spreader.
People often forget that dormant lawns still need proper care, and treading over them can cause compaction. Avoid walking on hibernating grass or even grass buried under the snow because it will harm the grass over time. The lawn may also not grow back well in the spring. Even healthy, strong grass can only tolerate so much foot traffic during the winter storm season.
With the drop in temperature, ice and snow can cause slippery driveways and front yards. Ice melters remain a worthwhile solution to this problem, creating a safe place to walk and preventing injuries. However, homeowners should practice caution when using ice melters because they can burn the lawn. Natural ice melters, like wood ash and coffee grounds, will cause less harm to the plants.
Make the necessary lawn preparations for the cold to save time and effort during the winter. Winter represents an opportune time to care for a lawn so the grass develops strong roots. A few small, simple steps will ensure a healthy lawn in springtime.
Healthy grass will tolerate cold weather better than a weakened lawn. However, the coldest months of the year can also trigger extreme weather conditions that punish even the strongest grass. Remember to check the weather report regularly to guard against unwelcome surprises.
Although most turf falls dormant during the winter months, the grass still needs care and attention. Any investment made during the winter will show in the springtime when the grass comes back healthier and with stronger roots. Well-maintained grass resists pests and diseases better. The care it receives throughout the year will serve it well during the darkest months.
Now that you know how to care for a lawn during the winter, watch the pros in action this fall. Our lawn care experts draw upon decades of combined experience to help our customers get their grass ready for when the snow hits. Call Heroes Lawn Care at 844-980-LAWN to schedule a free consultation today!