With the arrival of winter, it is time for your lawn to hibernate for some time. Some of you may have already started to take steps to put your lawn to sleep or winterize your lawn. But those who haven’t need not sweat yet. It’s not too late for you to start prepping your lawn for winter.
While a lot of people have a lawn full of natural green grass, several modern families with busy lifestyles have started opting for landscape artificial grass or synthetic grass.
Synthetic turf has become increasingly popular with the masses, thanks to the convenience, the ease of installation, and low maintenance it offers. It looks and feels just like real grass, but doesn’t need mowing, fertilizing, weeding, and so on. So what you’re essentially left with is a lovely green low-maintenance lawn all year round.
Taking care of a grassy lawn during winters, however, is no mean task. But preparing for it in advance may be helpful in sustaining its quality. The blanket of snow can protect as well as destroy your foliage.
In this post, we look at a few ways in which you can keep your lawn in good shape even in the winters.
Clear Out the Debris
This is the most important step of winterizing your lawn, and even if you’re too lazy for doing the other things, make it a point not to skip this one.
Autumn is bound to result in the falling off of the leaves and you’re surely going to find many strewn all over your lawn. Do rake them and dispose them off. If left on the grass, they will suffocate the grass underneath and leave an ugly bald patch on your lawn. You don’t want that.
Apart from the dead leaves, do clear out other embedded debris and materials as well.
You can save some of the leaves though, as they can be useful for covering your flowerbed and prevent early cropping of weeds in the spring. Once the ground is warm enough, rake it and plant your seeds for some beautiful flowers later.
The later part of the fall season is usually considered the best time to fertilize the lawn as that’s the time when it absorbs most nutrition. Throughout the summer, your lawn takes nutrients from the soil to grow, so by winter there isn’t much goodness left in it. You need to replenish the soil with the food your grass needs.
Fertilizing the soil during the fall will help the roots survive through the dormant stage all the way till spring.
Mow with Caution
The length of the grass is more important than you may think in keeping your lawn healthy during the hibernation period.
If the grass is too short, it can end up with dead sections later in the season due to the contact of the soil with the cold wind.
If the grass is too long, on the other hand, its blades can become susceptible to mold and/or damage. It is best to stop mowing your lawn once you notice that the grass has stopped growing and leave it like that for a few days.
Additionally, the clippings from the last mowing should be left on the lawn as mulch. That will protect the grass from damage and provide the nutrients essential for its sustenance.
Do ensure that you aerate your lawn in the fall. The process is fairly simple and involves digging small holes in your lawn which will allow the permeation of water and nutrition all the way to the roots.
You can either use a simple garden fork to make holes all over the lawn’s surface to aerate it or you can buy/rent an aerator and use that. Doing so also helps improve your lawn’s drainage.
Fill In the Bald Patches
It is a good idea to fix or fill all the bald spots in your lawn before it starts snowing. The most convenient and quick way of doing so is to use lawn repair mixtures, which are ready-to-use mixes containing grass seeds, fertilizers, and organic mulch. They are easily available at most garden-supplies stores and home centers.
Start by using a garden rake to loosen up the soil at the bald spot and spread a thick layer of the lawn repair mixture over the area. Follow this up by watering the spot thoroughly and do so every alternate day for a couple of weeks (if the weather permits) for best results.
Shoo Away the Weeds
If the annoying weeds are rampantly taking over your garden, it is time you did something to take the control back. Like most plants, weeds tend to absorb as many nutrients as they can during the fall. And they absorb whatever comes their way, even weed killers.
So now is a great time to reclaim your lawn. Apply a high-quality herbicide now and the weeds will not return in the spring.
Do make it a point to read the instructions of the label before use, though. Several herbicide companies recommend their application from early to mid-autumn, when daytime temperatures are over 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take Care of the Essentials
Do spare a thought for your loyal lawn mower and sprinklers before winter sets in in full force. Make sure you turn off your sprinklers so that your lawn doesn’t look like a frozen river, and drain out the sprinkler lines to that the water inside them doesn’t freeze and cause the pipes to burst.
Further, it is important to drain the gasoline out of your lawnmower before winter strikes. Alternatively, you could also try fuelling it with just enough gas to mow your lawn and then leave the engine running till the gas runs out.
Putting your lawn to sleep through the winters ensures that it comes back better and fresher in the spring. Better safe than sorry, it is said, and hence, preparing your outdoor area to face and endure the harsh weather and diseases is one of the best things you will do for it.