Winter is knocking on our door, which means it’s time to trade in your lawn mower for a snow blower. Before your lawn care responsibilities are resolved for the season, you should prep your lawn for winter. The proper care in the fall can mean less work and a lusher lawn once the snow clears.
Plants are responding to external triggers in the fall that begin preparing them for winter. As the days grow longer and temperatures drop food reserves are formed in the roots. Getting excess nutrients to roots is the secret to how plants return each spring.
- Garden fork or aerator
- Horticulture grade sand
- Top dressing (soil)
Keep Mowing (as needed)
- Every 10-14 days in the fall until the leaves have fallen
- Drop your mower blade to the lowest setting for the last two cuttings of the year
- Prepare grass to be roughly 0.75 inches
Reduce or stop irrigation
Leaving debris on your lawn can trap moisture and cause disease.
- Remove broadleaf weeds
- Rake your lawn to dethatch clumps of grass of dirt
- Rake leaves before they become heavy and stuck together with rain
- Run lawn mower with grass catcher attached to pick up access and collect it easily
- Place debris in a compost bin
Test soil pH
Test if the soil is too acidic or alkaline then use the proper treatment to correct it
- Too acidic? Apply lime.
- Too alkaline? Apply Sulphur.
- Improve drainage and help fertilizer, oxygen, and water reach the roots
- Motorized or manual aerator
Fill bald spots with grass seed
- Improve drainage and level out hollow spots
- Use a brush or back of a rake to spread evenly
Spread fertilizer or winterizer
Fertilizing or winterizing your lawn can help to boost the nutrient reserves and help grass return healthier in the spring.
- If you fertilize once a year, do it in the fall
- Use organic fertilizer with 0% phosphates
- Use a spreader (walk-behind, motorized or handheld)
- Apply recommended amount – too much fertilizer will burn your grass
Winterize: adding nutrients in the fall to your lawn in preparation for the cold weather.
Most winterizers are high in potassium which will help to strengthen and harden the plant cells. Making them stronger and helping them absorb nutrients.
Tips for winterizing:
- Know what type of grass you have
- Warm-season grass (Bermuda, centipede, St. Augustine, zoysia)
- Cold-season grass (Fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass)
- Don’t winterize in areas where winter is mild
- Be sure there is no stagnant water collecting on your property
- Mosquitoes breed when the temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in something as small as a bottle cap
- Replace water in birdbaths daily
- Garden pots
- Rainwater barrels
Prepare your tools for winter
- Bring in the water hose and shut off its source
- Pamper your snow blower
- change oil
- check spark plugs and belt
- lube the drive and chassis
- Fill with fresh, clean gas
- Before storing lawn, mower or trimmer drain out remaining gas
Taking care of your lawn in the winter can put you ahead of the game in the spring.
Follow these tips to get your lawn ready for the long winter months.
If you are overwhelmed with prepping your lawn for winter, call White Grove Gardens, we are always happy to help.