You’ve spent all summer mowing your lawn and enjoying how luscious and green it looks. It was the perfect setting for outdoor barbecues, birthday parties, camp-outs for the kids, and other gatherings. Now the weather is turning cold and you want to protect your lawn so it will be just as nice when warm weather comes knocking again.
Sure you could just leave it be, but we have some tips that can help prepare your lawn for winter so that it is ready to fill out strong and green when the cold and snow begin to clear.
Know When to Mow
This one is important. Even in summer months, you want to be sure not to mow your lawn too often or too short! We've seen so many lawns scorched from low mowing that we can't count anymore.
In the fall, you should mow your grass every 10 to 14 days until all of the leaves have fallen. This will make sure leaves don’t smother the lawn and keep it at a healthy length to prepare for winter. Check the minimum recommended length for the type of grass you have, but a good general length to prepare the grass for winter is 1.5 inches for warm climates and 0.75 inches for cool climates.
Leaving the grass at a recommended length like this for the winter lets the grass protect itself and helps reduce fungus growth when it snows. It also helps delay cutting until warmer weather comes along.
Don’t Forget the Fertilizer
You may want to add a natural fertilizer to help ensure it will be green and lush next season. If you didn’t do this at the end of summer, go ahead and do it before winter comes. Be sure you are using a good organic fertilizer with 0% phosphates.
Reduce or Stop Irrigation
Now that the weather is cooler, you don’t need to water your grass as much, if at all. If you are in a warmer climate, you can simply reduce how often and how long your sprinklers run. If you are in a cooler climate, go ahead and stop your sprinklers altogether. You don’t want the water to run and then freeze overnight, and it will help you save water. Win-win.
Maintain Your Compost
Fall is a great time to build up your compost pile to have it ready for next spring. While you are cleaning up your yard before winter comes, be sure to add some of the "brown" that your compost needs. For example, gather some leaves and add them to your compost pile. The leaves will prevent the pile from getting too wet and add a little insulation to the compost as well. Be sure to leave some to chop up with the mower as well.
This is one people often forget about when preparing their lawn for winter.
Walk around your property and make sure you don’t have anything that collects stagnant water. Mosquitos breed when the temperature is around 50 degrees, so if you provide them places to breed in the cooler weather, you can expect to get bit when the warmer months come back.
Any sources of still water are a problem since mosquitoes can use something as small as a bottle cap to lay eggs. Check your flowerbeds, garden pots, and rainwater barrels and replace the water in your birdbath daily to prevent breeding.
You will thank yourself for this extra step when you are enjoying warm nights out the following summer without all of the bites.
Be Careful in the Winter
If it snows, leave it on the grass. Some people plow around sidewalks and driveways in the grass, and this is a big mistake because snow actually protects your lawn - sort of like insulation from the crisp, bitter winter air. Plowing the snow on the grass will cause those patches of grass to not grow as well, making your lawn look patchy in the spring.
Taking care of your lawn is about more than making it pretty. These tips will help ensure a healthier lawn that can better care for itself with less work on your part. These tips can certainly help you get your lawn ready to survive the winter so you can enjoy it when summer comes around again.