It is hard to believe that we are five weeks out from the first day of winter. Time to rake the last of the fallen leaves up and begin the process of the winter lawn preparation. Keeping your lawn healthy during the winter will inevitably keep it healthy in the spring. Our stores remain open all year round and we have several products that will ensure that your lawn flourishes during the winter. With winter solstice so close, we wanted to offer five tips on making your lawn flourish in the winter
Five Tips on Making your Lawn Flourish in the Winter
- Clean up your lawn before winter. – Making your lawn flourish in the winter starts with this simple task. You need to remove anything that covers the grass. Leaves, debris, and toys will kill the grass and create conditions where lawn diseases can grow. Wet leaves are especially important to remove because they have a higher chance of mold growth.
- Decrease the amount of foot traffic on the lawn. – Grass that has gone dormant beneath the snow can tolerate limited amounts of foot traffic, however, a heavily used footpath will cause compaction and slower growth in the spring. Try to keep foot traffic on the sidewalk for the winter if at all possible. Grass that has frozen or is currently frozen is more vulnerable so foot traffic should be completely restricted.
- Fertilize cool-season grasses. – Late fall and early winter are good times to apply fertilizer. A slow and fast release nitrogen mix is usually a good choice because both offer seasonal benefits. Fast-release fertilizers help to build carbohydrates which help in repairing damage from summer. A slow-release fertilizer helps to keep the lawn healthy throughout winter.
- Be careful with road salt and ice melt. – Salt can do quite a bit of damage to a lawn. If you regularly use salt on your driveway or sidewalk, try to use calcium chloride-based mixtures. These are less harmful than sodium chloride-based ones. If you find that your lawn regularly gets inundated with salt from the road, you can easily wash the salt away with a bucket of warm water. Grass that is damaged from salt is usually easy to spot because of its sickly brown color.
- Do a final soil test. – Doing a final soil test will allow you to add the proper soil amendments before the weather gets too cold. A common soil issue that often appears in late fall is high acidity. Luckily this is an easy fix. Lime is the best treatment for an acidic lawn.