What Happens to Your Lawn in Winter?
photo credit: onepony
Not Sure About Winter Lawn Care?
We know the basic ins and outs of lawn care when the weather is warm: mow your lawn, gather your leaves, keep the gunk out of your gutters. Generally pretty simple, right? But what about winter lawn care? Do you ever wonder what happens to your lawn and grass when the snow starts to fall? Or if you live in a warmer climate, what happens during the colder months of the year?
The first thing to keep in mind is that just because your grass’ color has been leaning more towards a brown lately, rather than it’s normal vibrant green, doesn’t mean it’s dead. There’s still hope! The brownish tone to your grass just means that it’s starting to do what we all like to do in the winter: hibernate. Or more accurately, it’s going dormant. It’s not getting as much sun, nutrients, and water as it does in the warmer months. Your grass needs to conserve what little water and nutrients it does have to survive the winter. Your grass will bounce right back to the green you know and love once it gets the nutrients and water it needs.
How to Help Your Grass Spring Back (…pun intended) When it Thaws?
Most of your winter lawn care preparation should actually happen before winter. Before it frosts, you’ll want to give your grass one final cut. It’s important not to cut the grass too short, or leave it too long. Cutting the grass too short can expose the crown – which is where the blades meet the root. It’s also equally important to be sure not to leave the grass too long which can lead to the grass smothering itself. When the temperature drops below 40° F the rate grass grows slows down considerably, so it’s important to get the right length before the temperature drops.
Before it snows or frosts, you’ll also want to be sure to remove any remaining leaves, branches, or other debris you may have left over from the fall. When leaves become wet and heavy they can suffocate, or invite harmful diseases to your grass. If you’re interested in a quick and easy way to remove the leaves from your property, with a product that has over 20 years’ experience, check out the different Cyclone Rake models.
What if You Don’t Have Snow?
If you live in a place where your lawn is being buried under snow every winter, you probably aren’t thinking too much about lawn care during those months. But if you live in a warmer climate where your grass is still going into this dormant state, but isn’t buried under snow, here are some quick tips on how to care for it.
- Avoid walking over it if I you can. As we mentioned earlier, grass grows much slower in colder months. Without new growth walking on the same spots frequently (even under snow cover) can cause the blades of grass to weaken. This can make it harder for the grass to bounce back when it gets warmer.
- Salt is good on a lot of things: popcorn, steak, corn on the cob, just to name a few. We all know it’s good for keeping your driveways and walk-ways ice free too. Your grass however, isn’t a fan. Be sure to keep the de-icing salt you use away from your lawn whenever possible. Salt can be very damaging to your existing grass, and can even stop new grass from growing.
- This is also a great time to apply a lawn fertilizer. Because the foot traffic on your lawn will be reduced allowing the fertilizer to really get to work, uninterrupted.
With these tips and tricks you’ll be able to give your lawn a fighting chance this winter. Stay warm out there as the days get colder and the snow gets deeper!