Want to keep your yard healthy? Then don’t overlook winter lawn care. Plan out your next lawn care projects as the ground begins to freeze. Here are a few to get you started:
Aerating Your Lawn
Soil can compact during winter due to weight, pressure, and gravity. Over time, your lawn’s surface hardens and can compress and stifle roots. Aerating your lawn gives it the chance to release pressure and loosen up your soil so that your grass roots can grow and spread. This is usually done with a spade, but if you have a larger lawn, you should consider renting a manual or motorized aerator.
Winter Lawn Care: Fertilizing
Fertilizing gives your grass the nutrients it needs to remain healthy during the winter season. It also helps your grass grow greener and more lush in the spring. For even better results, we recommend using a slow-release fertilizer because they release nutrients over time and their green lasts longer.
Spread Cool-Season Grass
Cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and fescues can stay green until temperatures drop below 32℉ and survive the cold for long periods of time. As we mentioned in our post about yard maintenance, different grass types come with their own set of growing instructions. Planting them before the ground freezes over and practicing savvy lawn care in the winter season will help the grass seed establish strong roots in time for spring.
Keep It Clean
When it comes to cleanliness, winter is arguably the most important season in terms of lawn care. Make sure your leaves are raked to avoid suffocating your lawn before winter begins. If you don’t, your lawns at risk of contracting pests and diseases and weeds can begin sprouting after absorbing nutrients meant for your grass.
Clean up any debris after storms. Fallen tree branches and limbs can impact drainage and lead to soil compaction and crown hydration or “grass freeze.” Also, manage thatch before it builds up and prevents a healthy root system.
No one wants to clean up in the cold. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil – and well worth it once spring comes around and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Manage Your Weeds
Weeding is a winter lawn care essential. Weeds tend to pop up most when you’re tending to your lawn less often. All it takes are a few cold and rainy days for them to emerge, and the longer you let them fester, the more nutrients they’re taking away from your lawn’s root system.
We recommend weeding 2-3 times per month, or as needed throughout the year. If you want combat weeds before they even have a chance, consider using pre-emergent herbicides. These herbicides can prevent weeds before they sprout. If they’ve already sprouted, post-emergent herbicides will do the trick. However, do your research before using herbicides because some of them will kill more than just weeds.
Winter Lawn Care Final Thoughts
Lawn care in winter is not glamorous and, on those freezing days, it’s also not fun. However, by maintaining your lawn throughout winter, you’re well on your way to having a beautiful spring.