The snow, freezing temperatures, and slippery walkways make going outdoors in the winter a difficult thing to do. These conditions also make working on your lawn an impossible feat.
Unfortunately, you can’t leave your yard to fend for itself during the cold season. If you want to have a lawn that won’t be too hard to nurse back to health after winter, you have to summon enough strength to do some important chores to maintain and protect it at this time.
Lawn care pros in Mason, Ohio share below the seven yard care tasks you should never skip and neglect during winter:
As temperatures go down, continue mowing your lawn until you notice that the grass has stopped growing. Cut the blades shorter than usual, as well. However, make sure you avoid cutting the turf too short since this can encourage weed growth and other diseases.
Once the leaves start to fall on the ground, mow over them so that they can decompose faster. This instant mulch will add organic matter and protection to the soil. Turning the dead foliage into smaller pieces will also prevent them from forming a mat that can smother the grass.
During your last mow, cut the grass as short as possible so that they can protect any new growth near the end of the growing period.
Applying fertilizer is the most important lawn care chore you have to prioritize before or during winter. This is because your lawn needs enough nutrients to support top and root growth and general health during the cold season. They can get these from the fertilizer you spread.
The best winter fertilizer is a mix of slow-release and fast-release nitrogen. The slow-release components will nourish your lawn throughout the winter, while the fast release elements will help build carbohydrates into the turf now to promote repair once the warm season comes.
If you haven’t applied fertilizer at the end of fall, you can still do so even during winter, as long as the ground is not frozen yet. Mow at least once before applying the fertilizer, as well, to ensure the soil and roots get more nourishment.
Whenever the temperature is a bit warmer, and the ground is not covered with snow, drag a rake over the lawn. By doing so, you will break up the soil clumps, which in some way, is also a form of aerating your lawn.
Raking your lawn every now and then will also allow you to cover the seeds a bit and help facilitate their growth.
Your lawn also needs water to stay healthy even during winter. If there is no rain or snow, you have to bring out the hose or turn on the sprinkler to hydrate your yard.
In case you are experiencing a mild winter, with some days having freezing temperatures and the rest without frost, you won’t need to water your lawn, especially if you have a warm-season grass. The occasional rain or snow will provide your turf enough moisture for nourishment.
Overseeding is one of the important lawn care tasks you should take care of before winter. However, if you failed to do this before fall ended, you can still do it during the start of the cold season.
Dormant seeding is the term used for overseeding lawns in late fall and winter when soil temperatures are already cold to enable grass seeds to germinate. This lawn care tip can help eliminate bare spots and thicken the grass to fight weeds that come out during spring.
Cool-season grasses, such as ryegrass, bluegrass, and turf-type tall fescue are the recommended varieties for dormant seeding since they germinate faster in cold soils.
To do this lawn chore correctly, sprinkle and use a spreader to spread the seed evenly over the lawn. Do this properly to avoid having clumps of grass later.
Whenever the weather is a bit warm, use a rake to remove any dead leaves that have fallen in your yard. By doing so, you will avoid wet spots that can become mossy or moldy.
Avoid leaving other debris or toys out on the lawn. These items can suffocate the grass and cause turf diseases to come up.
The mess will also invite insects, rodents, and other pests.
Short, brown grass invites shortcuts from both humans and pets. However, keep foot traffic low on the turf since the plants may have difficulties recovering if a path becomes too worn out.
To prevent too much foot traffic on your lawn, keep your sidewalks cleared of ice and snow. By doing so, you and your guests won’t be tempted to cut across the yard often.
Additionally, do not allow anyone to park any type of vehicle in your yard. Keep in mind that even the smallest car will leave impressions in the soil and kill off any plant underneath the tires.
As such, keep vehicles parked in the garage or on any cemented surfaced.
Lastly, the winter season is the best time to clean and give your gardening tools and equipment some TLC.
Clean all tools and machines thoroughly before storing them. Remove any clinging dirt on all parts. Sharpen bladed tools, including the blades of your mower.
Sand down wooden handles then rub them with linseed oil. By doing so, you will prevent them from splitting and cracking in the dry air of winter. To keep bladed tools sharp, coat the metal parts lightly with vegetable oil or WD-40.
When you clean and store your gardening essentials properly in the winter, you will prolong their life. You will also be able to use them right away once spring comes and you are ready to work on your lawn again.
Doing all these chores during the cold season won’t be easy. If you want to give your turf extra help this winter, look for a lawn care provider in Fairfield, Ohio that offers services even during the coldest part of the year.