Prepping your lawn before winter is a must but when to winterize the lawn? What steps you should take to protect your plants from harsh weather? And how can you make sure that your grass stays alive during cold weather? Well, read our article to know it all.
This Article Will Cover
Why Winterizing Your Lawn Is Important?
Your yard needs a diverse type of care during different seasons. In summer you may need to safeguard your grass from sunburn and in winter, you have to insulate it from frozen death.
As winters are harsh for a yard, especially if you live in areas with severe climatic conditions, you need to winterize lawns before the winter season starts.
What Does Winterizing Mean?
Winterizing means preparing your lawn to resist tough weather conditions during winter. Winterizing is important because, with proper safety measures, your grass bed will stay alive and will revive again in spring.
If you don’t winterize your lawn, your lawn grass will go dormant and the quality of the soil will also drop. Furthermore, you will need to put extra effort into reviving it again in the summer.
Most people winterize their lawns just before the winter season begins and this is the right practice to do. You winterize your lawn in the autumn season.
Depending on your grass type, you will fertilize your warm season grasses in early September and your cool season grass, late in autumn.
How To Winterize Lawns?
Lawn prep is easy yet requires your full attention. Plants respond to environmental changes so when winters come, your plants must be ready to fight and survive. Starting from the start, here is how you prepare your lawn for winters
Type of Grass and Your Area
As we have mentioned, both cool and warm-season types of grass require different efforts. If you have warm-season grass, it will go dead during winter. So applying fertilizer won’t help. After September, leave it be. The grassroots will store the required nutrients to regenerate in spring.
If you live in severe climatic regions where it snows, lawn care in the winter is not possible as the grass will get buried under the snow bed. If you have fertilized your lawn in September, the grass root will stay alive even under the ice sheet.
In regions with mild winters, winter grass stays green during the season though the grass growth will reduce significantly. So giving it food in late autumn will help the grass to stay active during winter.
Summer grasses go dormant during winter. So you have to fertilize it in September and then again in spring to revive it.
Keep The Lawn Tidy
Most people think that winterizing means fertilizing your lawn only. However, you have to take six-dimensional action to protect it. Clean the fallen leaves in autumn before snowfall starts.
Rotten and buried leaves don’t only block a plant’s absorption quality but also promote fungus growth. Debris can make your grass die from the root. It will also affect the soil PH and you may even need to prep your soil again.
Build The Mulching Wall Around The Roots
Mulch is a protective compost layer that prevents roots from tough winter conditions. Snow will not do much harm to the grass if you have mulched your plants well.
Here, don’t mix up debris with mulch. Mulch is compost that protects the plant roots. Whereas, debris can harm plants and grass and may contain non-biodegradable substances.
Winterize Sprinkler System
Winter or not, your plants need water. As the season changes, so are the plant’s requirements to stay hydrated. A well-hydrated plant resists weather conditions better than a dehydrated plant.
In places where the temperature is chilling cold and goes down to a freezing point, water can get hardened in pipes. This causes cracks and breakage in the sprinkler system. So you have to winterize the sprinkler system to protect it from weather damage. Here are a few steps to help you in winterizing your sprinkler system properly
- To protect your sprinkler, shut the system and close the valves tightly. Make sure no water remains in the pipes.
- Most sprinklers have automatically built-in timers. Either set it to rain mode or shut it down.
- Drain the water using an automatic or manual draining system.
- Use insulation tape or cover to protect the pipes and valves that are above the ground.
One of the vital steps in winter lawn care is fertilizing your lawn before winter. In regions where there is frost and mist, you have to fertilize your lawn in early autumn.
The reason is that frost prevents fertilizer to reach the roots. So fertilizing early will help the roots to store nutrients for winter. Before fertilizing, check the soil quality to see what kind of fertilizer is best for your yard.
Protect Your Plants With Frost Sheets
Frost damage and wilt the plants and promotes bare grass patches on the land. Protecting your plants with frost sheets is an essential part of winterizing your lawn. It keeps the crops and plants safe from winter damage.
Clear Out Weeds And Plant New Seeds
People who live in regions with mild winters and those who have winter grass need to plant new seeds before winter. Winter grasses grow well during winters. Before sowing seeds, clear out all the weeds from the yard to promote healthy grass growth.
Seeding before winter, also reduce bare patches in grass and the grass stays lush.
Mow Your Yard
In winter, you won’t need to mow your lawn often. Even if you have winter grass and you live in a less severe climate, you may need to mow your lawn once a month. Mowing as part of winterization, protect your plants from overgrowing and locking down the moisture on the lower surface. If you live in a snowy area, mow your lawn in early autumn.
In the end, all we have to say is that proper winterization of your lawn keeps your plants safe during the winter season. They resist the weather better and revive again in spring with full might.