Don’t ignore your lawn just because it’s cold outside. Let’s talk about the importance of winter lawn care.
Much of the maintenance you have to do to have a healthy lawn come spring starts in the winter, when temperatures are cool. Factors like precipitation, freezing temperatures and other elements can affect your lawn’s health during the season of dormancy. Make sure to follow these tips in the winter for a healthy spring lawn.
Going into the winter, you want to mow your warm-season lawn just a little higher than normal–and we’re talking just a couple notches above the low point you started last spring at. A little height will provide some extra insulation from extreme cold weather. For Fescue lawns, you want to mow it as high as possible to help choke out Poa annua that will try to come in. We recommend keeping the extra height through the winter. And then lower it again going into the spring when temperatures are rising and the threat of super cold weather is past.
Avoid Heavy Lawn Traffic
When your Fescue lawn is frosted, try to avoid walking on it too much. Pressure to frosted Fescue grass blades can actually cause the cell walls to burst and damage the grass blade. Warm-season grass is more resilient, but it will have a hard time recovering if footsteps become well worn across the lawn. You want to minimize heavy traffic on warm-season lawns like playing soccer or football.
Water the Lawn
Water the lawn every so often on a mild day to keep the soil moist. Don’t let the lawn dry out. Lawns experiencing drought from the summer are weakened from heat stress and lack of rain, making them more susceptible to winter injury, winter kill and fungi in the spring.
Keep Your Lawn Clean
During the winter, there’s a good chance that leaves have piled up on your lawn. This can cause your lawn to suffocate. Leaves that are left on the lawn could also become too wet, which can invite disease. Drag a rake over the lawn to break up soil clumps and remove excess debris. If the leaves are not too thick or wet, mulch the leaves with your mower to recycle the nutrients back into your lawn.
Proper winter lawn care creates a strong foundation for a healthy spring lawn. If you have any questions on how to care for your lawn in the winter months, we’re here to help. Contact us.