The long winter months can introduce several stressors to your lawn. Precipitation, freezing temperatures, and other elements can affect your lawn’s health during this season of dormancy. Read on to learn what you can do to protect your lawn this winter.
Prepare by Mowing Low
Gradually lower your lawnmower’s settings as fall rolls around. Tall grass in the winter can attract mice and other rodents that like to burrow in cold weather. The nests and underground tunnels they create can cause damage to your turf once spring arrives. Try to have your grass as short as possible by late fall/early winter to protect any fragile new growth that emerges just before dormancy.
Ice? Not so Nice
Avoid letting ice build up on your lawn. Thick blankets of ice weigh down your turf, posing more and more damage the longer it lasts. The greatest potential for damage occurs when the ice thaws and re-freezes frequently. This can be especially detrimental to your lawn once spring sets in.
Avoid any kind of traffic on your grass in the winter. Your turf is especially sensitive to excessive wear and tear from feet and vehicles while at its weakest. Your soil is most vulnerable to compaction during this time, too. Cold temperatures can be your lawn’s worst enemy, but snow is surprisingly less threatening. A layer of snow on your grass can moderate temperature fluctuations and protect it from foot traffic.
There are melting products available on the market, but these should be used carefully and sparingly. Ice melters can damage lawns when used improperly or when used on the wrong type of grass. Be sure to carefully read the label on the product you buy.
Fertilize your cool-season grass in the early winter or before the first frost of the season. Fertilization during this time replaces the nutrients your soil loses in the dry summer heat. Applying fertilizer in the winter will help feed your lawn’s root system throughout its winter dormancy.
Ask the Experts
At Green Lawn Fertilizing, we’ve seen some of the Northeast’s toughest winters ever. Call us at 888-581-5296 for tips on how to help your lawn survive the harsh winter months.