Winter lawn care gives you little to do but more to look forward to
Oh, winter lawn care seems secondary in the holidays. What with all the snow and ice and your lawn needing less attention than it usually does. It seems to make sense to leave things be and let winter pass. In most parts of the United States, lawn grass goes dormant in the winter season; hence, needing little to no winter lawn care. It becomes too cold for the grass to grow, so you patiently wait for spring to see green again. Some cool season grass may thrive and keep some turfs green, but in most cases, grass stays dormant under snow cover.
However, the term winter lawn care would not be there if there is no need to tend to your lawn in the winter season. Yes, lawn care does not stop in winter. In fact, winter lawn care happens early in winter so you can sit back and relax throughout the snowy season. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips and tricks to maintain a healthy turf even in winter.
As the north winds blow and your yard starts to see the white blanket of snow, it needs less winter lawn care.
Your to-do list for your lawn in winter is much less, but it does not mean you should ignore your lawn completely. Your lawn still needs some work to ensure it will be in good shape when spring rolls around. The specific needs of your lawn and the tasks you need to focus on depend on where you live and what kind of grass you grow. Generally, these steps are what you should take for your winter lawn care preparation in the frosty season when there’s little to do in your lawn.
Do not let your lawn fall out of shape. Late autumn or early winter is the best time to begin your winter lawn care routine. Fertilize at this time. It is important to observe this timeline. Otherwise, fertilizing too early encourages weeds. Fertilizing when soil is frozen won’t serve its purpose either. Do not wait for the first freeze. Fertilize before it happens. Your soil needs to replace the nutrients lost in the warm summer days.
Winter lawn care means your soil survives the cold for your grass to grow in again the next season.
So the fertilizer remains in the soil and as the cold weather comes, the fertilizer you’ve applied feeds your grass roots all winter long. Do this vital step in your early winter lawn care routine and expect a lush, green grassy lawn come spring time.
If you have warm season grass, which is less likely in Iowa, you may need to overseed early before the first frost if you want a green lawn all winter long. If you don’t wish to keep the green, you can make use of the beige grass to leave your lawn winter’s touch. This is when winter lawn care becomes lighter work as you let the grass just naturally go dormant. Remember to water your grass after spreading fertilizer, though. This is necessary to wash the fertilizer off the blades of grass and into the soil where it should be.
Another crucial part of winter lawn care is to aerate your lawn. There are areas that particularly need aeration to avoid compaction of the soil. Use a fork or a spiking machine (Depending on your patience and budget).
Aeration before winter sets in improves drainage and allows more air into the roots of your grass.
This also allows fertilizer to settle into the roots more easily. This winter lawn care preparation makes way for a great, healthy soil. Then, come spring time, you have the lush green turf your neighbors will envy. Aeration helps your lawn increase root growth and minimizes thatch build up. You don’t want thatch in your lawn as it makes your lawn susceptible to diseases and insects. Just make sure the soil is moist before you begin to aerate. Moist, but not entirely wet. And yes, less work means you leave the soil plugs on the lawn to decompose naturally after aerating.
Next on your winter lawn care list is mowing. Mowing only stops when the grass stops growing for both cool and warm season grass. This means mowing up to late fall or early winter.
Mow over the fallen leaves as they add to organic matter that decompose quickly and do some good to your soil.
When you leave these dead leaves to wither away in their normal form, they cover your grass and smother them. Not exactly what you would go for if you want a lush spring yard. And definitely not what any winter lawn care expert would recommend. As you get ready for the winter lull, cut your grass shorter than usual. For instance, if you’ve been cutting it at 2.5 or 3.0 inches, decrease this gradually two or three mowings prior to the last one.
Finally, be sure to rest your lawn. Yes, as you rest, you also need to rest your lawn. Keep off the lawn especially when it’s wet or frosty. Grass damages easily during this period and they won’t repair until the spring. While grass is naturally resilient, it will have a hard time recovering in spring if a path has become worn out across the lawn. So remember that a big part of your winter lawn care rest means resting your lawn and just keeping off it.
FAQ: Is weeding necessary in winter?
Yes. Part of good winter lawn care preparation is making sure the weeds don’t stand a chance. A good way to control weeds is to strengthen your grass. Healthy grass shades the soil. This does not allow weeds from growing. Before the frost, dig up weeds or spot treat areas with herbicides. Pay attention to the type of herbicide you are using relative to specific temperature guidelines. Herbicides tend to be more effective when the temperature is 50 degrees or warmer.
What All American Turf Beauty Says About Winter Lawn Care
Most of winter is a time to rest from the long to-do lists for your lawn. The care your lawn requires only comes in early winter or late fall to prepare for the frosty season. Let your lawn be productive in the snow. Know what you need to do to help it through the cool season into a lush spring. Call us today and talk about the best winter lawn care provider in Iowa. Call our lawn care experts at 1-800-365-8873 or you may visit us at 311 Desoto Rd, Van Meter, IA.