Caring for your lawn is a year-round process, and winter is no exception. Fortunately, different parts of the year require different amounts of effort. Winter offers a respite from the often high-maintenance lawn care required in the spring and summer. It is important, however, to properly prepare your lawn for winter in order to ensure it enters the following spring healthy and ready to flourish. Winterizing your lawn will be a breeze if you follow the steps outlined below.
The best time to winterize your lawn is in the fall after most visible grass growth has stopped. Preparing your lawn for winter must be done before the temperatures begin to freeze. In the fall as temperatures begin to cool, lawn grass begins to grow more roots and build up a storage of nutrients that will allow the grass to survive the winter.
1) At the beginning of fall, reseed any bare areas as needed. Because grass roots grow well in the fall as they prepare for winter, this is a great time to reseed. As a bonus, grass seeded in the fall reduces the areas weeds will grow come spring.
2) Anytime in the fall, usually September or October, apply a winterizing fertilizer. Winterizing fertilizers have lower nitrogen content and higher potassium content to encourage root growth and help roots retain water and nutrients throughout the winter. An excellent option is Scotts® Lawn Pro® Super Turf Builder with Winterguard.
3) After grass growth has slowed or stopped, rake your lawn to remove debris, grass clippings, and leaves. This will also aerate the soil and allow the grass to absorb remaining nutrients before winter sets in and snow covers the ground. In the northern United States, a thorough raking should be done at the end of September or beginning of October.
4) Finally, after the lawn has stopped growing and before winter has set in, mow the lawn one more time. Set the mower to about 1″, and bag all clipping to ensure the lawn remains clear of debris, which will reduce the chances of Snowmold developing.
Winterizing a lawn can be a fair bit of work, but in the end the results are worth it. Preparing a lawn for winter gives it the best chance of not only surviving the dry, cold, months, but also thriving with more new growth in the spring and summer. Follow this guide on how to prepare your lawn for winter and you will see your efforts pay off in the spring.
Winterize Your Lawn – Agromin.com
Gardener’s Net: Lawn Care Winterizing Your Lawn
How to Protect Your Lawn in the Fall