With its snow, sleet, and cold temperatures, winter is tough on your lawn. Here are a few tips to make sure your lawn is beautiful come springtime.
Know When to Stop Mowing
Winter lawn care actually starts in the late fall, at which time you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather and stop mowing your lawn after the first frost. Continuing to mow will expose the roots of your lawn to the elements during winter. Leaving the grass short also encourages the season’s dryness to stunt its growth.
Before winter sets in, you’ll also want to fertilize your lawn. Like any plant, grass needs food to make it through the chill. Fertilizer that delivers slow-release nitrogen, according to The Lawn Institute, makes the grass roots stronger for heading into next season. Fall is the best time to take this step — just remember to fertilize your grass as well as any landscaping plants you may have.
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Lay a Little Mulch
Right before the first stretch of cold, add a thin layer of mulch. Too much thatch like leaves and branches can damage your lawn, so a light layer of material will protect the roots from any bout of snow and frost you may get this year. This simple step also prevents the deep layers of soil from freezing for any length of time, making it easier for your lawn to come back to life in the spring.
Don’t Walk on It
Although southern winters tend to be temperate, you may still experience a snowfall. Walking on a lawn covered in ice and snow damages the petals, so avoid direct foot traffic whenever possible. If you’ve made a path through the grass, stay on this walkway and ask guests to do the same.
Watch for Growths
You’ll also want to make sure that water isn’t building up in the winter months. The water left behind by melted snow and ice can cause just as many problems. Having poor drainage, for example, promotes the growth of fungus and pests to damage grass’s growth when spring starts. By the same token, make sure to look out for weeds, pulling any pests that try to spring up in your lawn throughout the winter. Many weeds are sturdier than grass and take advantage of colder temperatures to spread. Remove them early to protect your property.