Winter Lawn Care | 7 Moves To Make Now
Autumn is upon us, and before that snow hit it’s the time to start thinking about lawn maintenance for the winter months. It’s one of the things that may slip our minds, but your lawn is actually crying out for some attention so it can hibernate during our long winters and come out feeling refreshed.
The more chill and even rainy weather is the perfect time to prep your lawn for next year. Your lawn is absorbing moisture, and nutrients before it slows down it’s growing process during the winter freeze. The prep work you do now will undoubtedly give you one of the most envied lawns on the block!
Follow these 7 Winter Lawn Care Tips:
KEEP MOWING, LOWER
At this point, if your lawn is roughly 3 inches tall or more, start cutting it down lower in increments as you go over a few days. Eventually cutting your grass to 1 – 1 1/2 inches for maintenance. When the season comes to an end set your blade to the lowest setting for the last and final cut before winter.
AERATE THAT SOIL
You need to create an easy access point for all of your fertilizers, seeds, and water to get into the base of your lawn. Aerate on a day where your lawn is slightly moist, for the machine to move along easily. You can absolutely rent one from your local hard store, or have a company come and do this during fall each year. This is also a good time to note that you should repeat these next steps twice in a crisscross pattern.
RAKE IT UP
Fallen leaves when unattended can lead to a soggy lawn, filled with bacteria. They create a heavy barrier that can trap in moisture, in a bad way. Remove these as soon, and often as possible to ensure that all of your hard work really pays off.
FILL THOSE PATCHES
Fill those rough patches, holes and heavy traffic areas. You can absolutely use home created compost for this, just ensure that it is not too pungent, that means it has not cured enough and can burn your lawn. Alternately, you can use a pre-purchase lawn mixture that will contain all of the nutrients needed to help those dead spots and prepare for seeding. Just break up the soil of the area, and place your mixture on top. Pack lightly, and water often. Now, is also a great time to dig out those weeds, and take preventative measures.
This step is to help stimulate root growth and is exactly what your lawn is trying to do in the winter. Do not over-fertilize in one area, keep it spread out evenly throughout your whole lawn. Applying in clumps can leave fertilizer visible and unabsorbed on the top of the lawn which honestly does nothing. If you’ve even been unsure about what type of fertilizer to get, this article breaks it down nicely and points you in the right direction.
JUST SEED IT
This is your time to go crazy and seed. This the last step before your watering, raking, mowing regimen is repeated. Seed with intention, but a little overlapping here is ok most spreaders account for this. Again, try not to dump too much into one area, keep it consistent. Many hardware stores rent power seeders, which actually cut the top of your lawn in lines and drops the seeds in. Pretty neat, if you have the means to try one out. Plus, it means you don’t have to rake as much after you drop the seeds.
WATER LIKE IT’S YOUR JOB
Continue to water about 10 minutes at a time, two to three times a day. You will notice sprouting, this is good! Then cut back your watering to once a day for 15 to 30 minutes. Mow the lawn again when the existing grass reaches 3 inches, and do not leave any grass behind. Bag it up, and remove it. Closer to the end of the season mow your lawn back to 1½ inches for winter.
Follow these steps and you’re going to have an amazingly lush lawn. Think of that curb appeal, especially if you’re prepping to sell your home in the new year. Take these steps now for a big pay off in the future, and make sure that if you are in fact moving, to keep your home insurance up to date. Maintenance and insurance go hand in hand!