Wintertime can be a beautiful time of the year, between holiday decorations, the music, and yes, sometimes even the brisk weather that’s rolled in. What is not beautiful, though, is the damage that can occur on your lawn eventually should you not take any of the proper steps to prepare it for this season.
Just leaving your landscape to its own devices can cost you time, money, and headache come springtime when you’re having to replace plants and treat your lawn to get it growing right again! Luckily for you, there are several helpful steps you can take to ensure this does not happen to you.
How can I protect my grass in the winter?
There’s a chance you’ve heard it before, to mow your grass low before the frost or extremely low temperatures hit. This is a fact – while you want to traditionally cut about ⅓ the length of your grass, that changes this time of year. You will need to have your grass cut shorter to avoid matting of longer blades and rotting your lawn from the moisture.
Once you get heavy into winter, the need to mow goes down drastically. Also, your grass goes into a dormant state, so it doesn’t need to grow until warmer weather comes.
Many homeowners do not realize that the use of ice melters can do a lot of damage to your lawn! Some lesser corrosive ones are better for the grass itself, but using any, in general, runs the risk of harming your grass. If you’ve used any salt melters in the past, you should take some time to thoroughly saturate the soil to help wash some of the salt away.
Another way to help keep your grass from excessive damage is to avoid heavy foot traffic during the winter months. It’s also helpful to fertilize your lawn before the first freeze hits – so come this time next year, you can be even better prepared!
How can I protect my plants and flowers in the winter?
As you know, the grass isn’t the only thing growing on your landscape that needs special attention in the wintertime. Any flower beds or potted plants you possess need to be prepared for the oncoming temperatures and weather conditions. In addition, any potted plants you own need to be brought into a warmer, more temperature-controlled climate so they don’t succumb to any cold damage.
For the bigger plants that reside in the soil, much can be done to help them, too. For example, you can create vertical barriers to protect them by putting stakes in the ground around them, wrapping burlap around them, and filling them in with hay to help insulate them.
Making sure mulch is appropriately laid on top of the soil around your flowers and plants is always a big help in keeping them safe, predominantly the root systems below the surface. In addition, it can do a lot of good to cover those plants with a plant-protecting blanket. These will keep frigid temperatures, freezing rain, and heavy winds at bay throughout the winter season. Finally, if you have the time or resources, it can be a lifesaver for your greenery to have a greenhouse set up somewhere on your lawn, even a smaller/more temporary one!
What are some common lawn care mistakes to avoid this time of year?
One of the biggest mistakes people often make is not raking and clearing away often leaves enough throughout the fall and into the winter months. All of those leaves and excess debris can take a toll on your grass over time, so clearing them away can help keep them healthier even during the cold. Trimming your lawn is another huge point of conflict with winter lawn care.
While it’s recommended to cut it a little shorter than usual, there is a fine line between that and cutting it too short. Cutting more than half the length of the grass blades could be detrimental to its health. As a helpful preventative measure, you should also make sure you’re fertilizing your lawn appropriately ahead of time to make sure your grass will have the nutrients it needs to last throughout the cold winter months.
It’s a common misconception that the watering can be paused once the winter months roll in until it starts to warm up again. Your plants may lay dormant or slow down in growth, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still need water to survive!
Over time, they will become dehydrated without water, weakening them, making them more susceptible to disease during winter. Finally, remember not to neglect pest control this time of year – some don’t make their way in until it gets colder, as they’re looking for places to hide and eat that are safe. Keep your plants/grass safe from them this winter by making sure your landscape is treated appropriately.
Why is it important to accept help from local professionals?
Every homeowner has the capability and resources to take care of some lawn care practices themselves, such as investing in a greenhouse or keeping the watering schedule up and running. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of things around your home yourself! However, there are plenty of things that require the assistance of people who have a lot more experience and ability to help keep your lawn as healthy as it can be when the weather gets cold.
These professionals can help evaluate your lawn, its individual needs, and how to provide it with those needs. The folks at Year Round Services know how lawn maintenance works inside and out and can tailor a plan for your home specifically. They can also provide you with sound advice on what you may have been doing wrong and how to fix it. They will help keep your lawn happy, healthy, and strong all year round for years to come!