Winter can be extreme, and sometimes our gardens and lawns can be casualties of its harshness, with the lawn often suffering the most. Generally, extreme weather conditions can cause serious damage to lawns and the time of winter is usually the toughest for lawns. All your efforts during the summer can vanish before the next spring if you leave your lawn unattended. This can be frustrating; however, there are some things you can do or put in place during winter to protect your lawn.
This task should be easier if you are in the habit of taking care of your lawn regardless of the season. It is quite interesting to note that taking care of your lawn during winter can help usher in a period of impressive growth during warmer seasons such as spring and summer as well as make life easier for you when maintaining the lawn during those seasons.
One of the first things to consider during this period is your location and the degree of harshness of the winter in your locality.
Important Tools That are Needed
However, before you can get things running, you have to ensure that you have the necessary tools that are required for running and maintaining a successful lawn. Since you have a lawn, some of these tools should already be at your disposal. Below are is the list of the tools needed to give your lawn the care it deserves before and during winter.
Lawn Mower: there are various types of lawnmowers on the market. Of you have one, you will know this already. However, if you don’t there are a few things to consider before settling for one, and they are; the size of your lawn, the terrain, the ease of use among, fastness, efficiency, etc. Also, ensure that you can interchange the levels of the lawnmower.
Rake: This will come in handy at every season. You will use it to remove dirt, falling leaves, etc.
Garden fork or Spade: this tool will likely be at your disposal already if you are a gardener. It is used to dig up covered areas.
Fertilizer: get a fertilizer that can be applied during winter to boost growth. You may need a spreader for the fertilizer depending on the size of the lawn.
Grass seeds: there are different types of grass seeds, and they are warm grass seeds and cold grass seeds. Only cold grass seeds will thrive during winter.
The potential of your lawn looking lush and beautiful increases with how well you take care of it at every season and this includes winter. Keeping your lawn healthy during winter comes with immense benefits. So, let us get into the business of caring for our lawns without further ado.
Clean Your Lawn
Lots of trees shed their leaves during fall, and these leaves may find their way to your lawn. There may also be debris and dirt on your lawn. Therefore, cleaning your lawn is the first line of action, and you should do this during fall. This is where your light rake comes to use. You must keep your lawn tidy because the chances of your lawn getting infected with disease increases as fallen leaves, debris and objects gather on top of it.
This also makes things easier when the winter season ends, as you will have a neat lawn ready to bloom and blossom.
Before winter approaches, ensure that you cut your lawn relatively short because longer grasses are susceptible to smothering and this can cause disease. Longer grasses are also more likely to get damaged because of the actions of freezing and thawing. However, when mowing your lawn do not cut the lawn too short as that itself can be harmful to the lawn; doing the above correctly will make things easier for you at spring.
Remove Thatch, Spikes and Moss
It would help if you tried your best possible to eradicate moss and thatch from your lawn. The best time to do this is close to the end of fall or around the beginning of winter. Moss is found usually in dark patches on trees and hedges. Their growth can continue to increase if left unchecked, and they put the health of your lawn at risk. So, you should add them to your clearing project and clear every patch you come across. Remove every branch or hedge that contains these patches.
You can eradicate them by getting moss killing chemicals. They are relatively easy to get around, especially at garden shops around. The chemicals usually take time to remove moss; therefore, you should apply it early before winter starts getting tougher.
Dry straws of grass known as thatch as well as spikes should not be allowed to remain on your lawn as they can impact the health of your lawn negatively. Thatch is found usually in areas that have more traffic or the play areas of your lawn.
You can use your garden fork or spade to dig them out. Ensure that you remove as much as possible, especially the areas with bigger patches of thatch. This action also helps to aerate the lawn. If you have a large-sized lawn, you should consider using a manual or motorized aerator.
Mow Your Lawn
It is best to carry out your last cut for the year around the closing of fall or at the beginning of winter when the weather is not yet extreme; this should ideally fall between September to October. Use a lawnmower that has different levels which includes a low-cut level. Use the lowest level, and cut the grass as short as possible while being cautious not to damage the ground or expose the grass to damage in the future.
If your lawn stays unattended to for a long-time during winter, it will attract unwanted visitors such as pests and mice to your lawn. These organisms tend to multiply relatively fast, and they can destroy a large part of your garden if they are not dealt with on time. This will cause more problems during winter and the coming season, and you may have to spend more to eradicate the pests and save your lawn.
You can deal with pests better during winter on a short lawn than on longer lawns. Also, you should actively remove debris from the lawn when you are chanced.
Apply Fertilizer on Your Lawn
You can also apply fertilizer to your lawn during winter. When it comes to fertilizing your lawn during times like this, there are different ways to go about it. You can either apply the fertilizer close to the time of winter or apply the fertilizer before the weather becomes too harsh. Grasses You may be asking, why apply fertilizer to the lawn during winter? It is common knowledge that grasses don’t grow in colder regions during winter because of the conditions they are exposed to. Even though there is ample supply of water from rain and snow during winter, there is no adequate sunlight, and this can impede growth. However, there are other things you can do to ensure optimal growth when the time of growth arrives, and one of those things is the application of fertilizers.
The size of your lawn determines the method you are going to use to apply the fertilizer. It is essential to ensure that the whole area is evenly covered. You can carry this action out using a spreader which can either be manual operated or automated. Using spreaders bring ease to fertilizer application, especially if you have a relatively large lawn.
You should ensure that you are using the adequate amount of fertilizer your lawn can take. Failure to do this can have dire consequences such as a damaged lawn as a result of burns that occur from too much fertilizer application.
Some fertilizers are made specifically for winter, and they are known as winterizing fertilizers. They release their nutrients slowly and gradually into the lawn.
Plant Cold Seed Grass
This is the next step after preparing the ground to aid growth in the best way possible. Some grasses are designed to thrive under a colder climate. These types of grasses are known as cold season grasses.
Unlike the more popular warm-season grasses, cold season grass will still grow under the harsh conditions of winter, which means that you can still have that green-looking lawn during winter. You won’t be spending the same amount of energy to maintain these grasses as you would on a normal day.
A spreader also comes handy in this area, and you can use the same one you used for spreading fertilizer. The same way you ensured that the fertilizer is spread evenly on the lawn, you should ensure that the seeds are spread evenly. This will help ensure that they grow uniformly and prevent clumpy growths.
Pay Attention to Weather Trends
Weather changes during winter can be extreme sometimes, that is why you should observe it closely if you want your lawn to survive the season healthy. While some lawn turfs can withstand these conditions if you set things in place, there is a limit to what they can take. Therefore, there are other things you should prepare for relative to the weather conditions of your location.
One of the things you should be on the lookout for in your lawn is exposed ice on low spot areas in your lawn. If you discover them, you should chip it away, as the more they accumulate there, the more serious damage they are going to cause. Ice can cause smothering and inhibit your lawn’s growth.
Another thing to avoid doing during this period is walking on your lawn. It would be best if you tried to reduce human traffic as much as possible because at some point during winter, the grasses get frosty or icy, making them susceptible to breaking when walked upon. This can also inhibit growth in the future.
Please pay attention to the weather forecast as they can provide information on how extreme the future weather will be and acting on it by taking steps to protect your lawn can make a big difference.
Winter will subject your lawn to harsh conditions. Putting things in place before and during winter will help to protect your lawn and give it the care it may not normally get during this period. One of the main advantages that come with doing this is growth will be blissful during spring stretching into summer. You won’t have to do as work, and you will have a healthy lawn to yourself. To do this, you have to ensure that your lawn stays hydrated, it is well aerated, and pests and diseases are not given any opportunity to thrive.