Late Fall Early Winter Lawn Maintenance
Thanksgiving is one week away. Christmas music is already on the radio. Mornings are now brighter and the evenings are now darker—that’s right, it’s almost winter. Before we know it, the leaves will be gone and we’ll start seeing frost in the mornings. For the second straight season, the mid-Atlantic has experienced greater than average warm temperatures. We’ve only seen one snowfall—the Nor’easter brought by Hurricane Sandy. Yet, winter is still closing in on us and as a home-owner you must be prepared and your lawns must be maintained properly before dormancy.
If you live in the Mid-Atlantic and North East and you own a sprinkler system, this is the time it should be winterized. Furthermore, if you have any outdoor hoses, they need special attention too. With overnight freezing temperatures, your water can now freeze. Because of this, special attention is needed as the inside of your sprinkler housings and hoses can now burst or rupture. In order to alleviate this or avoid it entirely, sprinklers and hoses should be cleaned and stored out of the way in a dry place. Always remember, hoses should be disconnected and removed from any water source and exhausted of any residual water. Last, hoses should then be properly coiled and stored away in a dry-and warm if possible-location.
As the cooler weather continues, you want to make sure your leaves are taken care of and removed from the lawn. If you keep up with your leaves, it is the best way to ensure there won’t be any left on the ground throughout the winter season. It is not wise to leave them on the turf until spring! Before winter sets in, there may be one or two mowings left depending on where you live and the type of grass you have. An efficient way to get rid of leaves and exercise your final mowing is completing your final mowing while mulching up the remains of the leaves.
Once the lawn has been mowed for the last time, your mower should be winterized and stored out of the way. Before winter you will want to consider stabilizing your mower’s fuel. Gas that sits in a mower all winter long can clog the carburetor and block up. Come spring, if you allow this to happen, you will be paying $100-$200 to have the part professionally cleansed. If you keep the mower in the garage, fill the tank to prevent condensation and add a minimal amount of fuel stabilized. Other optional recommendations include: changing the oil, charging the battery, clearing the deck, sharpening the blades and servicing or replacing the air filter. Once your lawn mower chores are out of the way, you will want to clear space in favor of snow shovels, salt, ice melt, snow gear.
Late fall fertilizing should be accomplished when your grass stops growing but before the ground freezes. The timing of this depends on where you live and weather can be unpredictable but for the mid-Atlantic it’s now—Mid November. In the Mid-Atlantic, we sometimes experience warmer conditions like last winter. If such conditions continue and you can see that your lawn is continuing to grow you may want to consider mowing one more time in December. Well-trimmed turf going into the winter subsequently is less susceptible to to winter damage and snow mold disease.
If you plan on landscaping with winter decoration and lights, make sure to use only lights that are rated for outdoor use. Beware, some outdoor decorative lights become too warm to touch. If such lights have been placed on broadleaf shrubs, small brown marks may arise from where the light bulbs touch the leaf tissue. This is likely a cosmetic issue and does not pose any threat to the health of the plant or shrub. Once the new growth expands in the spring, these damaged leaves will split from the plant.
Our last advice is to protect against all shrubs and trees around your property. Protecting against the damage from wind, snow, sleet and other winter weather is crucial to a healthy spring. If you’re interested in a professional spring Tree and Shrub program call today before it’s too late. We will protect and maintain your growing investment: Vibrant well maintained landscaping will enhance the beauty of your property. That’s why it’s so important to protect it from pesky diseases, hungry bugs and the harsh winter weather. There are two ways to sign up if you are interested in a Tree and Shrub program. Call 888-581-5296 or visit www.greenlawnfertilizing.com/order.
Fall Lawn Recovery Guide
This autumn, restore your damaged, heavily used, dried-out lawn with this five-step plan.