Lawn care might be the last thing that people think about as winter approaches. However, the grass still needs some form of care during the frosty season to ensure a healthy growth come spring and summer. The tasks for winter lawn care and landscape services are not as plenty compared to spring and summer. The work that needs to be done also depends on the area and the kind of grass that has grown.
Here are some lawn care tips for the winter season.
Before it starts snowing, you should already mow the last young grass in your lawn. Young grass is not as tough as the crown, so snow and frost could easily damage it. Mowing back young growth can help prevent winter plant diseases. Do this task regularly several weeks before the snow starts to lessen the shock on the turf.
Grass becomes dormant during the cold season and will only start growing during extended periods of sunny weather. It will need a slight trim at the tips to keep it neat.
Lawns also hibernate during the winter season, so it is not advisable to feed your lawn by adding new growth. The grass is susceptible to winter diseases due to damaged and cracked blades. Nitrogen-based feeds used during spring or summer may cause grass to grow. If feeding is a must in preparation for spring, use a phosphorus-based fertilizer, which is designed for winter use to encourage vigorous growth.
Before the first snow and frost arrive, lawn aeration is needed to free up compacted portions of the lawn and give it moisture, air and nutrients deep into the roots. Hollow tine, aeration shoes or drum aerator for larger lawns may be used to aerate the soil.
During winter, worms are also inactive as they head deeper into the soil and away from the cold. Worm casts and natural aeration occur early springtime. By then, it is ready to tidy up the lawn again as winter ends.
Similar with feeding, watering or irrigating the lawn is not advisable during the cold winter season. The turf will have a limited need for food or water during winter, as it successfully hibernates and ceases growing for a while. The grass is also storing energy at the base and the roots. The snow and frost will be enough to maximize the turf’s ability to grow healthy as soon as winter ends.
Winter is a great time to break up ground and loosen the earth for laying a new lawn for the coming spring. Moisture soaks up the soil and freezes, and as it turns into ice and expands, it also breaks apart hardened bunches of soil. Laying a new lawn will be easier to do with a well-ventilated, loose soil for the upcoming spring season.
During winter, the tasks involved in looking after lawns are cut down to just the basics. It is a great time to relax, allow the natural process to slow down and prepare the lawn for spring and summer. With these tips, you will be able to keep your lawn healthy and safe from diseases, and ready for new growth come springtime.