Winter Lawn Care Tips
With a crispness in the air, leaves spilling a canvas of gorgeous color across your yard and temperatures dropping to a cool and comfortable level, you breathe a sigh of relief. You can finally stow away your lawn mower, weed whacker and the rest of your landscaping equipment.
But wait — spend just a little more time on your lawn and it’ll be primed for greatness when next spring comes.
Getting Your Lawn Ready for the Cold
Give your lawn just a little more care while the weather gives you the chance. Pull your lawnmower back out of your garage and consider following these tips before the frost hits.
Mow a little more. Cutting your lawn a little shorter and shorter each time you mow as autumn approaches can prepare your grass to better handle the stiff cold, snow and ice it’ll endure. If your grass is too tall, you’ll be leaving a safe haven to animals looking for a warm place to burrow — mice are particularly fond of tall grass, and can ruin your lawn by yanking out grass to build nests. On your last mow, make sure your grass is as short as it can get.
Grab a rake. A buildup of leaves can prevent healthy grass growth. As they start to fall a little faster, and the piles are too big to mow over, it’s time to grab a rake and clear the lawn. A pile of untouched wet leaves can mold and kill the grass underneath it — and make for an unpleasant removal.
Clear your lawn. It’s not just leaves you’ll want to clear — protect your lawn furniture or anything else in your yard from the elements by storing them away until the spring. Your yard will be better off without the added weight, and you won’t have obvious dead spots when the ground eventually thaws.
Aerate your lawn. It’s not just for golf greens! Pushing small holes into your lawn’s soil opens it up for all the nutrients it needs for the winter. Visit your local hardware store and get the lowdown on the different types of aerators they offer. Your lawn will thank you for it.
Feed and fertilize. After soaking up nutrients from the soil all summer, there’s not much left for your lawn to live on. After aerating your lawn, fertilizing your lawn will give it plenty of the nutrients it needs to survive the frigid months.
Make the most of mulch. Spreading mulch around the base of plants, trees and shrubs will help protect them from colder temperatures and harsher weather. You’ll improve the look of your trees, too, as the old mulch and/or soil will be a bit worn from the hot and drier months of summer.
Tidy up your tools. Last but not least, stow away any tools you’ve left outside over the summer. Before packing them away, be sure to remove any dirt and grime to prevent rust and keep them working like new. They’ll be ready for the spring, and you’ll avoid a trip to the hardware store — and a dent in your wallet.
Taking Care of Your Lawn During the Winter
While you won’t be mowing or pulling weeds while the snow falls, there are still quite a few things you can do to make sure your lawn stays healthy over the winter. Combine these tips with the work you did in the fall and when the weather warms back up, you’ll be in the running for the best lawn in the neighborhood.
Stay off your lawn as much as possible. While it’s probably not possible to keep off your lawn all winter long with your kids building snowmen, snowball fights and other wintertime activity, try your best not to walk on bare, frozen grass. You’ll damage the grass, and if you take the same path all winter, you’ll have some obvious dead spots that’ll be difficult to bring back to life.
Keep an eye on the lower parts of your lawn. If you live on more rural land, you’re bound to have some low spots where snow and ice can accumulate and do some damage. If a storm is coming, make sure to chip away any visible ice so your yard won’t be buried deep after the snowfall.
Be careful with sidewalk salt. De-icing your sidewalks and driveways is a must to keep your family upright and safe, but any loose salt that accumulates in your yard can have a gnarly chemical effect on the grass.
Be patient. Winter is a low-maintenance season when it comes to lawn care — staying vigilant and careful will yield much better results than constantly tending to your hibernating lawn.
So you’ve prepared your yard for the winter — now’s the time to make sure your home and vehicles are protected from the unexpected, too. Connect with an American Family Insurance agent for help with crafting policies tailored to your needs.