The winter months place a lot of stress on your home’s lawn. Grass is a resilient plant, but that doesn’t mean it can be damaged or even killed by low temperatures, freezing water and other harsh elements. Your pre-winter care for your grass plays a large role in how it weathers the seasons and comes out on the other side, so winterizing your lawn needs to be a part of your seasonal routine.
It’s important to address your lawn’s needs before the winter hits, because once the grass is under a blanket of snow, all you can do is hope for the best. With that in mind, here are some steps you should be taking to get your yard ready for the winter.
Cut your grass short
The cold months may deal a blow to the growth of your grass, but that doesn’t mean your lawn has stopped growing entirely. It still needs to be cared for even if the conditions are inhospitable. If there’s no snow on the ground, make sure you keep your lawn cut close to the ground. You might even need to water it and use your grass as a compost to provide nutrients to the soil.
Cleaning up the area
While mulching grass clippings can be useful, a little goes a long way — especially in the winter. If you let snow pile up on top of a yard still covered in leaves, this extra layer of matter can mat down your lawn and leave it in bad shape come the spring. Invest in a leaf blower to clean up your yard before the snow hits. Similarly, you should make sure all bushes are trimmed and all flowers and plants are properly composted ahead of the winter.
Aerate the soil
Poking holes in your soil makes it easier for water and oxygen to penetrate down to the roots, where they are most valuable. Aerating results in a healthier lawn, and doing it before the winter will give your lawn a head start in the spring.
Lay down seed
When you seed your lawn in the fall, it not only serves to improve grass growth throughout the coming year, it also presents the rise of weeds. Overseeding won’t do any damage to your grass, but it’s a worthwhile treatment that is easily applied and can have a noticeable different by next spring and summer. Just make sure you’ve purchased the proper grass seed type that matches what you are currently growing — mixing grass is never a good idea.
Laying down fertilizer is just as quick and easy as seeding, and the fall is a great time to fertilize. This quick boost of nutrients will help your lawn through the harsh winter and leave it in better shape when the world starts to thaw in the coming spring.
It’s sometimes hard to see the fruits of your labor in the fall, but when your grass reappears from under the snow in the spring, a well-kept lawn will appear as such. Winterizing your lawn doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive job, but it will save you trouble in the spring and give you an edge over your neighbors. When the yard is often viewed as a representation of the people inside the home, it’s certainly not something you wan to slack off on, especially when proper seasonal care is so easy to perform.
Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yard_and_street_in_winter.jpg