While during the winter months most of us don’t normally think about lawn care, there are a few things everyone can and should do to keep lawns in the best condition possible for greening up when spring arrives.
Keep Lawn Areas Clean:
It is not uncommon for items to be left out and forgotten once the snow starts to fall. Also, this year we had a late fall and a very fast cool down. This means many lawns still have leaves and other debris on them that is normally cleaned up before the harsh cold hits. During periods of milder weather it is good idea to do what you can to get leaves and other debris off the lawn. Also keep your eye out for larger items: stray chunks of fire wood, dog toys, rakes, and even lawn furniture can leave dead spots on the lawn if left sitting in the same place all winter long.
It is also often more difficult to pick up pet waste, but when the snow clears making an effort to pick up after pets will prevent heavy spotting, and prevent the need to do seeding or even replacing areas of the lawn.
The best way to make sure your lawn stays clear of foreign objects is to do a sweep of the lawn every couple of weeks during the winter.
Avoid Heavy Lawn Traffic:
When the grass is dormant it can be easy for people to forget that it shouldn’t be walked on as much. Try to prevent too much foot traffic on your winter lawn. Turf is relatively resilient, but it will have a difficult time recovering if paths become established. If possible, dogs should be encouraged to move around and not stick to one or two areas of the lawn. Keep sidewalks free of snow and ice so people don’t need to walk across the lawn.
Also, never allow anyone to park a vehicle on lawn areas. Even the smallest vehicle will leave impressions in the soil and kill off the grass underneath the tires. Using the lawn as a parking lot is a sure-fire way to kill the good grass, and leave patches open for unwanted grasses and weeds to creep in the following spring and summer.
Icy walks are treacherous and often some salt or other ice-melting products are needed to prevent slips and falls, especially in shady or north facing areas. Unfortunately these products can damage the lawn as well; to lessen the impact use them only when needed. Shovel the areas first so there is less runoff going into the grass, and do not over apply the de-icing product. Learn more about de-icing products here »
Winter Watering and Lawn Mites:
Watering the lawn a few times a month during warmer weather is very helpful during long dry spans. When the temperatures are above 40° F is a good time to water. Stop watering in time for the moisture to soak in before the temperatures fall below freezing.
Also keep in mind winter watering helps replenish moisture taken by lawn mites. Mites, especially during dry winters, can do significant damage to lawns. Mountain High does offer winter mite sprays which drastically cut mite populations, but winter watering is still needed to prevent damage.