So the growing season is over, leaves are falling from the trees, and ole’ Jack Frost is nipping at your heels.
You have worked your off all summer and fall (or paid a professional a pretty penny) to get your lawn in top notch shape, now it’s the end of the season… now what?
So what are the best lawn care tips for winter preparation?
Fortunately, winter lawn preparation is fairly straightforward.
These 3 steps will help you have a great lawn come spring!
What are they? Let’s take a look.
Step 1: Winter Preparation Begins in Fall
Winter preparation starts in early fall with aeration and overseeding.
Heres the deal, aeration and overseeding are crucial to ensuring a great looking lawn next spring. This needs to be completed 3-4 weeks before temps start falling below an average of 50 degrees during the day, and 30 degrees at night time.
Here’s the catch if you wait till too late in the fall or early winter, then you the window of opportunity has passed you buy, the seed will need 3-4 weeks of decently warm weather to germinate and grow before the coming winter.
This will allow the grass seed to establish itself before it gets too cold.
Missed Early Fall Prep? Don’t Worry
No Problem! If you missed the early fall preparations no need to worry.
If the ground isn't frozen, you can still aerate the lawn, and the seeding can wait until early spring.
Catch up with the seeding in late February or early March, when temps start creeping back up. But if you wait until too late in the spring, then the baby grass will get cooked by the impending summer heat. Timing is everything!
Regardless steps 2 and 3 are just as important.
Step 2: Remove Fall Leaves and Debris
Remove as many fall leaves as you can before winter begins.
Of course, the leaves don’t always come off of all the trees at once. But the more you can remove in the fall, the better your spring will be. Dry fall leaves are easier to remove than soggy leaves in spring.
Here’s the deal, whether you can remove all of the leaves in the fall or not, remove as many as you can! This is one lawn care step that you don’t want to skip out on!
Removing leaves may seem basic, but it is actually very important for several reasons:
- Leaves are a breeding ground for bugs, especially gnats.
- If left in the lawn too long, leaves can choke out grass.
- When leaf matter is left in the lawn it increases the risk of fungi such as snow mold.
- Finally, leaf matter can house voles, mice and other rodents.
Best of all, removing the leaves in the fall will help you with Step 3.
Step 3: Winter Fertilizer
Now, the next step will be to apply a quality time released granular winter fertilizer.
A good winterizer fertilizer can be found at your local big box home supply stores, or you might want to buy local and support your local lawn and garden shop.
In my experience, a CO-OP can offer better advice and guidance on which fertilizers will work best in your climate can be found there.
When you apply the fertilizer you need to wait until the baby grass has matured and been mowed a couple times. If you apply the granular fertilizer too soon you can burn up the baby grass and, that’s not good!
You might be wondering, Should you sill fertilize if you did not seed in fall? Yes, you can still apply a winter fertilizer.
If you need a little help on deciding which lawn fertilizer you should use here is an article that will help “Best Granular Fertilizers on the Market”.
So What’s the Game Plan?
Heres the recap, first aerate and overseed in early to mid-fall. Once it germinates and is healthy, then apply the winter food to feed it all winter.
Once you have completed those 3 steps, it’s time to begin your spring game plan! Here are 10 Lawn Care Tips for Spring.
On the other hand, if you live in a climate with transitional weather further up north, then lawn care in Atlanta or Nashville takes on a very different shape. So, getting yourself a snow blower or finding someone to shovel you out would be highly recommended. You may want to check the web to help you decide which snow blower would fit your lawn.
These winter preparations will help your lawn be all that it can be the come springtime. These simple preparations will help your lawn to establish deep roots which will help your grass survive the winter. Additionally, these winter preparation steps will help to eliminate and prevent fungal infections and other diseases in your lawn.
Preparing your lawn for winter involves three key steps. First, in early fall, aerate and overseed before temperatures drop below 50 degrees during the day. If you miss this, you can still aerate if the ground isn't frozen and delay seeding until early spring. Second, remove fall leaves and debris to prevent bugs, grass choking, and fungal growth.
Finally, apply a quality winter fertilizer once any new grass has matured. These steps will help establish deep roots, prevent diseases, and ensure a healthy lawn come spring.
If you need help getting your winter lawn care routine up and going, jump on GreenPal and find the best pro in your area to take care of your lawn from there! Whether you need to find a lawn cutting company in Decatur, Georgia or hire a yard mowing service in Gastonia, North Carolina, GreenPal makes it as easy as clicking a few buttons.
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