Winter Lawn Care
Cold, winter months give homeowners a welcome reprieve from weekly yard maintenance. While you’re warm and cozy inside, don’t forget about taking care of your yard this winter. Following these simple steps will protect your lawn and landscape during the winter, so it will thrive when spring arrives.
- Mow your lawn. When temperatures fall, either your grass will go dormant, or the growth will slow considerably. Mowing your lawn during this time depends on the grass type and weather conditions. Winter mowing requires extra care as it is critical not to scalp your lawn. Set the mower blade to remove no more than 1/3 of the new growth. Refrain from mowing in wet, soggy conditions or during an active frost. Wait until the lawn is completely dry to avoid damaging grass blades and roots.
- Remove Debris. Keep your lawn free of debris including branches, fallen leaves, toys and furniture. The weight of these objects will kill or stunt your grass during the winter. Rake dead leaves to avoid wet spots that welcome fungal diseases and ruin your turf.
- Protect Young Trees & Shrubs. Bundle saplings and young shrubs with burlap to protect from the frost during harsh winter days. Remove the wrapping as soon as the temperatures rise to reduce the risk of forcing trees out of dormancy in the middle of winter.
- Practice Weed Control. Winter lawns are not a hotbed of activity. However, a few weeds can pop up. Get a head start on eliminating weeds from your lawn and garden by pulling up sprouts as soon as they appear.
- Reduce Traffic. Your dormant grass is susceptible to winter damage. Excessive traffic on a wet lawn is a major contributor to winter kill. Lawns do not show evidence of winter kill until the grass exits dormancy and brown patches appear. Keep pathways, sidewalks and driveways clear of ice and snow to discourage people from walking on your grass. Gently encourage family and visitors to use walkways. Your lawn will show its appreciation in the spring.
- Water. Trees, shrubs and your lawn might need water if there isn’t much rainfall. Don’t water if the ground is frozen or still wet.
Winter lawn care is neither time-consuming nor labor intensive. Take good care of your yard during the cold months, and you will be rewarded with healthy, lush grass in the spring.