How to Prep Your Lawn for Winter
When winter rolls around, many homeowners breathe a sigh of relief at the thought of lawn chores slowing down. After all, the growth of your grass slows down, and the leaves stop falling. So, there isn’t much to do, right? Wrong! Although your grass might not need nearly as much trimming, fertilization, or watering as it does in the summer, it still needs some TLC during the cold months. If you’re like us here at Southern Spray, you can appreciate a beautiful landscape no matter what season it is. To help get over the dreary winter blues and bleak colors of winter, consider sprucing up your landscape this winter with these tips!
Reduce Your Mowing Schedule
That’s right--we said reduce, not eliminate. While your grass’ growth certainly slows down in the wintertime, it certainly doesn’t stop altogether! When the Tennessee temperature drops in the winter, it’s important to maintain a mowing schedule that gives your grass the attention it needs without exhausting it. Until spring arrives, stick to mowing your lawn about once every 10-14 days. If you mow your lawn too much in the wintertime, this can starve the grass by eliminating its ability to photosynthesize, leaving your lawn with dead grass.
Keep Up With Proper Maintenance
Just because it is wintertime doesn’t mean you need to skip all the things that make your lawn look its best. There are simple around the yard tasks that you can do to keep your lawn healthy throughout the cold Tennessee months. Proper lawn care maintenance techniques to prepare your lawn for the winter can include:
- Raking your lawn
- Pruning trees
- Laying mulch
- Clear deadwood from trees
Raking Your Lawn
Although you may be sick and tired of raking, keeping your lawn clear of leaves and other debris is one of the most important ways to keep your lawn healthy during the winter. A layer of cold, wet leaves on your lawn can easily turn into mold and disease-- which is not ideal for your grass. Your best bet to avoid this is to consistently keep leaves and dirt off your lawn throughout the winter.
Properly trimming trees during the winter is vital to their health for the rest of the year. This will help not only the health of the tree, but eliminate the countless amounts of limbs to pick up from your yard. Prune deciduous trees to encourage fresh growth in the spring, and trim conifers that have started to grow out of hand. With trees going dormant in the winter, there is no better time to start pruning.
If you want to mulch your lawn in the winter, make sure to apply it around plants, shrubs, and trees. Not only will mulch help protect your plants from cold weather and snow, but it helps fight erosion and reduce water loss. The best time to apply mulch would be after the first hard frost in Tennessee as this will stabilize the temperature giving your soil the proper amount of nutrients and coverage. There are also certain times you want to cover plants to make sure they survive the winter. When a hard frost is predicted, put a tomato cage upside down over your plant, and lay burlap, plastic, or thick fabric on the cage, but try not to touch the plant’s leaves with the material. When temperatures rise the next day, take it off.
Clear Deadwood From Trees
If you have any of those beautiful trees and shrubs in your landscape that the Nashville area is so well known for, they need attention, too! To ensure your landscape is ready for the colder months of the year, take the time to clear dead wood from your trees, shrubs, and perennials so that they can enjoy a restful dormancy. You may not notice much of a difference during the winter, but when the spring thaw comes, your perennials will be lush and gorgeous from their beauty rest!
Don’t Forget About Weed Control
Just because grass growth is slowing down doesn’t mean that your weeds are following suit. Although it may be tempting to skip your regular weed control treatments during the winter months, keeping to your pre-and post-emergent weed control is an important way to maintain the long-term health of your lawn. Your grass will thank you when it’s spring and your lawn isn’t struggling to grow from under a thick layer of weeds!
Keep Your Landscape Properly Hydrated
You aren’t the only one whose negatively affected by the dry winter conditions in Nashville--your landscape can suffer too. Even during the winter dormancy period, it is important to keep your grasses, trees, and shrubs properly hydrated to make sure they’re happy & healthy once spring rolls around. Our advice from the lawn care technicians at Southern Spray? Water more slowly than you do in other seasons - at about 5 minutes at a time - to avoid oversaturating your lawn and creating a layer of standing water on the hard, frozen ground.