Winter lawn care can be just as crucial for the health and beauty of your lawn as any other season. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your yard doesn’t need some TLC to keep it safe during the harsh winter months.
If you can make time to implement these winter lawn care tips, your lawn will be ready to go and extra beautiful when spring comes around. The professionals at Turf Managers can get a head start on helping you with flower bed installation, weed control, tree and shrub care, and more.
But first things first. Right now, you need to focus on these 12 winter lawn care tips to keep your lawn protected during the cold months. So let’s dive into Turf Managers’ winter lawn care tips to give your yard a head start for spring.
If your lawn and the soil underneath are compacted, then any water that melts onto it will sit on top, dry out the ground and not allow nutrient uptake in the roots of the grass. Furthermore, the water will freeze the grass cells if it’s stored and frozen around the crown of the grass.
Aerating is key and Turf Managers can help. It is key to aerate at least 1” deep, which is below the thatch line — the layer of living material between the soil and the grass line. By breaking up the thatch line, you are introducing air and allowing water to penetrate.
Aerating your lawn in winter helps preserve the grass, prevent drainage problems, and ensure it stays as healthy as possible during winter.
Fertilize for Winter Lawn Care Success
After aerating your lawn, it’s a good idea to apply fertilizer to help it survive the winter. Ideally, you will want to do this at the beginning of winter to give your grass the nutrients it needs to get through the hard times ahead. The roots of the grass will then absorb the nutrients and store them throughout the winter. When spring comes, the grass will tap into those stored nutrients, giving your lawn a head start.
Consider a winterizing slow-release fertilizer, which does exactly what it sounds like. You can also give your lawn a pH test which will tell you which type of fertilizer will best suit your yard.
Keep Your Lawn Clean
Keeping your lawn free of debris during the winter will ensure nothing damages it that will be noticeable in the spring. Watch out for winter storms that can scatter your yard with branches or large chunks of ice that will make brown patches if left all winter.
Heavy snow or wind storms could break branches off trees and deposit them on your lawn. These heavy branches will cause damage to your yard if left unchecked for the rest of the winter.
Watch Out for Salt Damage
Many people use de-icing compounds that contain salt and other chemicals on their driveways or sidewalks in winter to prevent slippage. These products can contain sodium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and magnesium chloride. These chemicals can then seep into nearby bushes, trees, or grass and get into the soil.
When high salt levels are present in the soil, plants and grass cannot absorb enough water. This salt-induced water shortage in plants and grass is called physiological drought. Here are some ways to prevent salt damage:
- Use de-icing salts sparingly, especially around your lawn area
- Remove as much of the ice as possible, so you don’t need to use as much salt
- In spring, water heavily salted areas more than usual to wash excess salt away
- If possible, alter the drainage so the salty water flows away from plants and grass
Salt use has its benefits in winter as it prevents injury, but remember that it will damage your lawn if used excessively.
Compacting your lawn can damage it and lead to brown spots in the spring. Some scenarios that contribute to lawn-packing, particularly for winter lawn care include:
- Walking or repeatedly playing on the same patch of grass
- Piling snow on the same places
- Parking of cars, snowmobiles, and snow blowers on the grass
Try to spread shovelled snow instead of piling it up on the lawn. Not only will this prevent compaction of the grass, but it will also help with drainage and the prevention of snow mold.
When spring has finally sprung after this hard and grueling winter, you’ll love how beautiful your lawn and garden look because you took the time to apply these winter lawn care tips. However, to get the very best out of your yard projects, trust the experts at Turf Managers.
The professionals at Turf Managers have been helping clients in the Nashville area for over 25 years with plants, trees, lawn care, and more extensive projects like massive flower, tree and shrub installations.
Whatever you can dream of for your lawn and garden, Turf Managers will help you make it a reality. Click the link below to book our professional services.
Get a Mowing in if You Can
If you get a dry day before the snow comes, get one last mow of the lawn before winter. You’ll want to cut it shorter than you usually do in spring or summer. Longer grass in winter can lead to rodent infestation (primarily voles), snow mold and bare patches.
Make sure you rake all the wet leaves off your lawn before it snows. If left un-raked under a layer of snow, the leaves will suffocate the live grass underneath. Additionally, wet leaves left on the grass too long will invite disease, can lead to water build-up, bare patches in spring, or pest infestation.
If the leaves are not too wet, run your mower over them without a bag and distribute them across the lawn. If they are too wet, rake them up.
Seeding and Sodding
If you already have bare patches on your lawn that were not fixed by seeding in the summer, seed the brown area and lay a piece of sod over the top. A sod layer will inhibit erosion and compaction and promote future growth. However, the ground should not be frozen when seeding and sodding, and you’ll have to water the area when finished.
Spreading seeds can be done throughout the year, even with snow on the ground. People in the south should take advantage of year-round gardening and seeding conditions for a head start on a beautiful lawn in the spring.
Watering your grass applies pre-snowfall or for areas that get little to no snow. But before the snow comes, make sure your lawn is getting plenty of water, whether from rain or watering. If your area is experiencing a drought in winter, sunshine and wind can dry out your lawn, causing dreaded brown spots. For most areas without snowfall and freezing, you can reduce your watering by half as rain and snow runoff should be sufficient water for lawns.
The more weeds you can kill in the fall and winter, the less you will have to pull up in the spring. Weeds love to spring up at the end of the fall season, right when there is a bit of moisture in the air.
You will also want to spray pre-emergents (weed prevention treatments) on your lawn. You can apply these in the spring or winter. But, when you apply in the winter you give your lawn a head start on weeds with a healthy lawn right from the beginning.
Clean, Tune-up and Maintain Your Equipment
You use your mower, trimmers, clippers, rakes, hoses, and many other tools every weekend in the spring and summer. Why not take advantage of the winter break and tune-up all your lawn care equipment.
- Clean off all the excess dirt and grass from your gardening tools
- Check the oil and gas levels of all your mechanical equipment
- Drain the gas out of the tanks for safe storage
- Tighten up all screws and bolts
- Sharpen all your blades and check the heights
- Restring your trimmers
You should have all your equipment tuned up and ready to go for next year. It will save you plenty of time in the spring.
Make a Plan for Next Year’s Growing Season
Winter is a great time to get yourself organized and determine what you want for your yard this spring. With a proper plan, you can ensure that your lawn is ready at the first sight of spring.
Now you have these winter lawn care tips in your toolbox. When you have questions, be sure to seek the expert advice of Turf Managers when making your plans for spring. Our Turf Manager experts have 25+ years of experience in the Nashville area. They are passionate about making lawns, gardens and yards into works of art. Let us help you make your yard look the way you’ve always dreamed. Click the link below to book Turf Managers services and have your yard be the envy of all your neighbors.