Although lawn care generally focuses on the summer months, just because you can’t see your lawn during the winter doesn’t mean it isn’t still there! Taking steps to protect your lawn during the winter cold is one of the most important ways you can ensure your lawn looks stunning once the snow thaws.
Fortunately, taking care of your lawn during the winter isn’t nearly as difficult (or expensive!) as it may sound. As long as you follow a few simple steps on winter lawn care, you can anticipate a beautiful, lush green lawn once the weather warms up again. If you want to go the extra mile to take care of your lawn this winter, here are three fantastic tips to help you get started.
Fertilize Your Grass
Properly fertilizing your grass is one of the most important steps you can take to protecting your lawn over the winter. Although many people know to fertilize their lawn in the spring, most people don’t realize that your lawn needs nutrients during the cold months too! By fertilizing before the winter sets in, not only will you keep your lawn in tip-top shape during the winter, but you’ll also be making sure your lawn is ready to go once the warmer months return.
Fertilizers consist of three basic components: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These elements are essential nutrients for healthy grass growth and maintenance. Nitrogen keeps grass looking green and healthy, phosphorus encourages healthy root growth and potassium strengthens the immune ability of the grass, warding off diseases and the effects of drought.
The ratio of these chemicals in fertilizers is known as the NPK ratio and is represented by three numbers on the packaging of fertilizer. Most fertilizer contains no phosphorus as the run-off phosphorus in fertilizer can contaminate water, but fertilizers made specifically to encourage new grass growth will contain significant amounts of phosphorus. You don’t need a phosphorus-heavy fertilizer to maintain your lawn over the winter, so choose a fertilizer combination that works for you and use a spreader to apply it over your lawn.
Aerate The Soil
If you’re serious about winter lawn maintenance, another thing you can consider doing is planting new grass seed in preparation for the spring. Before you plant new seed, you should always aerate your lawn. This can be done with the use of a spike aerator, which is a tool designed to poke holes in your lawn with a row of solid spikes. Alternatively, you can aerate your lawn by hand with just a simple spade. The process of aerating your soil helps to prevent the soil from being too compacted, which can result in poorer nutrient flow.
This is especially important during the winter months, which can cause enormous stress to your lawn due to the low temperatures and harsh frost. By aerating your soil right before the winter months, you can ensure that your lawn will be in optimum condition to grow wonderfully during the spring.
Get Cold Weather Grass Seed
Finally, the kind of seed you spread right before the winter months can also affect how well your lawn grows come spring. It’s important that you choose a cold season grass seed that’s developed specifically to withstand winter temperatures, in order to best ensure a healthy lawn in the spring. Be sure to spread your new seed evenly to avoid clumps of grassy or barren land later on.