Since there is little to no lawn maintenance to do during the winter, for those of us that worry about our lawns all year this can be a very relaxing time. However, before you kick back and rest from yard work for the winter season, it’s important to prepare your lawn for the cold months. These preparations will help to protect your landscaping and have it looking great all winter long.
Clean Up Leaves
Raking is often considered the bane of autumn. It is tempting to just leave the leaves there and deal with them in the spring, after all when it snows no one will have to see them anyway, right? Not raking the leaves can have dire consequences for your lawn; including fungal disease, flooding from improper draining, or a proliferation of pests. Anyone of these kinds of damage can have lasting effects on your lawn once the ground thaws and spring sets in.
Making sure your lawn is well mowed before the winter sets in is one of the most important and often overlooked preparations to maintain a healthy yard through the winter. It is crucial to continue mowing your lawn until it quits growing. Through the fall season you’re going to want to mow the lawn every week and a half or two, depending on how fast you see the grass growing. Don’t worry about measuring your grass with a ruler every morning to determine when growing stops, just wait until all of the leaves have fallen from the trees and you're ready for that final mow! The last cutting before winter sets in should have your grass length at at least ¾ inches and no more than two inches long. Remember, cutting the grass is a critical step to helping avoid diseases and ensuring that your lawn looks sharp throughout the winter.
Since you’re already outside, don’t forget to prune your trees and shrubs to ensure that they too stay nice and healthy all winter long.
Aerate, Fertilize, and Seed
Lawn aeration is one of the most common and important forms of lawn maintenance, and should be done a few times a year. Aerating involves using a specialized machine to punch holes in the soil to loosen it. This allows the soil to breathe easily allowing nutrients, oxygen, and water into your lawn. Be sure not to aerate too soon after heavy rains as this will not allow the soil to breathe properly. Once you’ve aerated your lawn, it’s time to overseed it. Use a seeder to make sure that the seeds are spread evenly. Use a nitrogen rich fertilizer to ensure that your seeds have a great start in the spring!
Don’t forget that during winter grass can become weak since it has trouble repairing itself in the cold weather. Therefore it is essential to make sure that your walkways are clean throughout the season, this will help you avoid lawn traffic, which can be very detrimental to your lawn’s health.
Interested in help with your winter yard maintenance? Call us at (636) 688-6647. We’d love to help!