Let’s face it, winter is not the ideal time to get outside and take care of the lawn. If you live at higher altitudes there may be other things to deal with, like snow and freezing rain. Even in milder climates like Savannah the temperature can dip below freezing. Wet and freezing conditions can make lawn care an unappealing task and the risk of damaging your lawn is increased.
Below are a few simple tips that will help you to keep your lawn looking good throughout the winter without having to do too much during the worst of the cold season. More detailed tips for achieving a perfect playing-field lawn can be found in this downloadable e-book (it’s free),
and for tips to help you deal with common turf problems that can arise, check out this e-book (also free).
Preparing for Winter
Before the cooler weather sets in there are a few things you can do to protect your lawn. First, if you have had regular maintenance throughout the summer your lawn should be well fertilized and lush. If not then you will want to have a lawn care expert assess your lawns fertilization needs before winter comes. Some experts suggest applying a top dressing to a lawn before winter as this will protect the soil and the grass roots from frost. Again, it is best to consult your lawn care professional to see if the type of grass you have and its stage of life warrant this kind of treatment.
Don’t Mow After a Frost
Make sure to keep your lawn mowed to the ideal height in the fall. If you allow it to get too long and then cut it too short just before the winter, the grass will be more vulnerable to disease. You can mow right up to the first frost but after that you will want to stop cutting. It is okay if it is a little longer than you would normally keep it. It will not grow much during the coldest time of year and a little length will protect the roots and the soil from damage.
Don’t Trek Across the Lawn in Wet or Frozen Conditions
When your lawn is wet and slippery or frozen, it is very susceptible to damage. You can easily slip and create smears and marks in the lawn. The wheels of a mower or other vehicles will also leave tracks and divots in the lawn when the ground is wet.
Make Sure the Lawn Has Proper Drainage
One of the greatest problems for lawns during the winter is the possibility of water build-up. Too much wetness makes grass susceptible to fungus and blight. To avoid this problem aerate your lawn once a year and make sure there is proper drainage throughout your garden.
Weed the Lawn
Grass goes dormant in cooler weather but not all weeds do. If there is no snow on your lawn and you can see weeds growing, it is a good idea to get rid of them. If not managed, weeds can get the upper hand during the winter months and come spring they will be taking over.
Maintain Your Mower in the Winter
The winter months are a great time to stay indoors. You may not need to mow your lawn at this time of year but it’s a great time to get your mower into the garage or to a maintenance person to have an annual servicing. Come spring you will be ready for creating lawn perfection with a machine that has been tuned up and sharpened.
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