For most people, winter is not a time for great deeds. Or any deeds for that matter.
It’s too cold for that.
Winter is the time to relax, reflect and collect yourself for a great start in spring. Just like nature does.
Yet even though you don’t feel like being active outdoors, a bit of lawn care in winter can be rewarding.
Want to know why?
Because come spring, you will have a beautiful lawn which will put a smile on your face every time you come home. And isn’t that the best feeling in the world: coming HOME?
So, if you want to know how to take care of your lawn in winter times, as effortlessly as possible, and create a beautiful oasis of your own, do keep on reading!
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What Happens to Grass During Winter?
Just as with all things nature, the season of winter makes your lawn go… well, quiet.
It doesn’t mean it’s becoming completely inactive, but it’s minimizing its growth in order to withstand the harsh weather.
During this time, the grass is more fragile and that’s why it needs a bit more TLC in order to be able to meet spring with open arms… or rather, a breath of freshness.
Of course, you can always hire someone to do this all for you. There are plenty of companies and individuals (gardeners, right?) who could help you out.
But why should you?
It’s not too difficult.
Plus, you can always gather your family or friends and share the work, making this a nice occasion for a small get-together.
Preparing Your Lawn for Winter
If you are a proud owner of a lawn, you’ve probably heard of this phase. But what does it mean to prepare your lawn for winter?
Just like preparing yourself for bed every night, this includes all actions you will take in preparation for the coldest months of the year. You will find the season of fall to be the one where you will do most of the work.
Let’s go through some of the things you might want to tackle:
Knowing Your Grass Type
Winter grass care depends highly on the type of grass you have growing on your lawn. If you live in Northern climates, you probably have cool season grass while those living in Southern climates are more likely to have warm season grass.
But what’s the difference?
Cool season grass is usually a type (or species) of turf grass, designed for decoration, to be mowed more often and growing best in warm weather in spring and summer.
This is the most widespread lawn grass in the US, so you are likely to have this type on your lawn. Cool season grass becomes dormant (inactive) during colder seasons yet looks beautifully green most of the time. Plus, it’s said to absorb pollutants so it’s great for air quality too!
Warm season grass usually includes different types that take their origins from tropical areas. This kind of grass is made to be resistant to drought and grow the most during the hottest times of summer.
If you live in the Southern area, take note of the humidity – not all types of warm season grass are suited for places that are very dry.
Knowing the type of grass on your lawn and the conditions you live in will determine how much watering is needed and what your lawn needs are during winter months. And if there is even such thing as winter where you live!
Don’t let the fallen leaves sit on your lawn. Collect them and do all the necessary cleaning of your lawn, especially if you have kids that like to play on it, or if you have pets that like to… well, you know.
If you have bold patches here and there, fix them (by replanting grass), as they are more likely to collect moisture from rain and snow during winter.
You can also do a bit of dethatching in order to remove the layer of small decaying plant material – luckily, you can find a machine made for that. Also, don’t forget about weeding.
AND don’t forget about composting! Collecting all things organic, like dry leaves and leaves doesn’t mean you have to throw them in the garbage.
Organize a composter and use it to fertilize your other plants around the house. There are also donating spots for you to give your compost away if you don’t have a use for it.
For more info on how to create your own compost, check this video.
When it comes to mowing the lawn during winter times, you’ll see there is no need to do it as frequently and most likely not at all.
During winter times, grass grows much slower and is weaker. Mow the lawn one last time in the fall, making sure you’re not cutting it too short and then observe.
If you happen to experience warm winter weather and you see your lawn growing, then you can do a once-over.
Whether or not, and if more often than not, you will have to water your lawn during winter depends greatly on the weather conditions.
Occasional rain and snow will help water the lawn, yet if you find the winter to be warmer than usual, do help your grass out by watering it a bit.
Observation is key when it comes to plant care, even if the only plant you own is the grass on your lawn.
Fertilization of your lawn should preferably be done in fall and then again when spring comes. When it comes to fertilization, be sure to buy your products carefully and to follow the directions on the particular product.
Not all grass types can use one fertilizer – they each have their own needs.
There are also recipes that give you a detailed guide on how to make your own lawn fertilizer, if that is something you would prefer to do.
Not all people are aware of the fact that your lawn, or soil in general, needs aeration from time to time. In fact, as you walk on your lawn (and if you do), or just tend to place heavy things on it (hopefully not park a car!), the soil underneath the grass can get really dense.
Because of that, it is a good idea to aerate your lawn, especially in preparation for winter.
Aeration is good, not only for letting your soil breathe, but for helping your grass grow and for better water flow (rhyme not intended). It also helps control and prevent weeds!
But how is it done?
Well, if you are really strong (and not afraid to show it) or in need of a workout (and not afraid to show it), you can do it with the use of a hayfork or anything with spikes to poke holes in the soil. Just like that. Or you can use a machine designed to help you out with this task.
The good news is:
You don’t have to aerate your whole lawn just as much as you mow it. Doing it once a year will be sufficient.
P.s. Cooler months won’t make you sweat as much.
Now, you’ve done all the above. Congratulations! You can give your lawn a rest during the winter, so the grass can gather its strength for the springtime.
Yet a question might arise:
What if it Snows?
If it snows – build a snowman!
But all jokes aside, in case you get a lot of snowy days, it might be a good idea to observe if you have high concentrations of it forming on a specific patch of grass.
Too much moisture can damage your lawn, yet it doesn’t mean you have to keep clearing the snow away.
Make Use of Winter Times!
Wintertime is great for many reasons and one of them being is having a bit more time to spend indoors. If you like moving around instead of hibernating during these colder months, you might want to make use of this period to prepare for spring.
Look at your lawn and see what needs improvement. Maybe you are planning on adding a little bit of glamour to it? Maybe some of your tools need fixing? Think of what you would love your lawn to look like in the spring and do what you can to make your vision come true!
Winter Lawn DO’S and DON’TS
DO: observe, observe, observe!
Knowing your lawn in and out will help you make the right decision when it comes to winter lawn maintenance. And do not let your grass go too dry by depending on rain or snow to bring it water.
DON’T: ignore it.
Lawns can look beautiful during fall and winter too. Make use of your lawn, enjoy it, yet make sure to give it all the care it needs so that it can serve you well.
Hopefully, these winter lawn tips will help you and your lawn prepare for the next winter – and stop you from feeling like grass is always greener elsewhere.
Now, do you have any tips of your own for lawn care in winter that you have found useful or even life-changing?
Do share them in the comment section!