The temperature in the northeast has many of us thinking of snow this week. Several areas experienced their first frost of the year. Many homeowners assume that lawns will be fine on their own in the winter. This is far from true and there are many things that need to be done to keep your grass from dying in the winter. A lawn that is well taken care of in the winter will flourish in the spring. If you need any of the products in this blog, feel free to visit or reach out to one of our many northeast locations.
Methods to Keep Your Grass from Dying in the Winter
Don’t walk on the grass during a frost or when it is covered in snow.
This is one of the easiest methods to keep your grass from dying in the winter. If the grass is frost-covered, any foot traffic will damage the grass blades. This may result in permanent damage once that frost melts. This also applies to grass that is covered in snow. Therefore, making snowmen and snow angels might be off-limits this winter.
Remove autumn leaves from your lawn.
All homeowners know that with late fall comes leaf clean-up. You can’t really avoid it unless your yard is completely devoid of trees. By not removing the fallen leaves, you are not allowing your grass the amount of sunlight it needs for photosynthesis. This lack of sunlight results in the grass turning brown and eventually dying.
Remember to practice late fall or winter fertilization.
The window is closing for a timely application of late fall fertilizer, but you can still apply a winter fertilizer before the snow flies, or the first frost comes. The fertilizer should be high nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer. Nitrogen drives grass blade growth and speeds up the decomposition of mulched leaves and grass clippings.
Should grass still be watered in the winter?
Most grasses require less water in winter than the summer. This occurs because of more frequent natural precipitation. Water also evaporates less slowly in colder weather. Try cutting your water schedule in half. Water deeply once per week instead of twice per week. If your grass still turns yellow or brown, slowly increase the frequency of your watering.
Use a lawn-safe ice melt.
Road and rock salt is a grass killer. If you regularly deice your steps or driveway, runoff from the ice melt can seep into your yard and kill the grass. A good indicator that ice melt has affected your grass is dead spots along paved surfaces. The best option for a lawn-safe ice melt is high-quality calcium chloride. If you’re considered about road salt affecting your grass, try lightly washing it away with warm water after the plows have all passed. Just be sure that the runoff doesn’t enter any local ponds or rivers.