If you are wondering about the ways in which you can support your lawn during the winter, we’ve got you covered. The most important thing is taking good care of the grass and plants you’ve already got.
Winters can be harsh on the plants in your garden. The temperature can halt the growth of seedlings, dry out the soil, and deprive it of nutrients. Under such circumstances, the soil conditions can not only take a toll on your lawn, they can also promotes weed growth. Weeds can further decline the nutrient composition of the soil, making it infertile for the current and future plants and grasses.
Therefore, catering to your lawn appropriately is a great proactive step in ensuring that winter’s toll is minimal.
Preparing the Grass
Following are some of the ways through which you can foster the grass through the winter.
Fertilizers and Herbicides
Use pre-emergent fertilizers on the lawn before the next season. They ensure that plants have sufficient nutrients before they sprout. Post-emergent products assist with active growth, so they are not appropriate to use on grass beds that are about to go dormant.
It’s also a good idea to use some pre-emergent herbicides to kill weeds that may be germinating within the soil. However, take care that you don’t use a product that targets grassy weeds. These chemicals are not specific enough to know the difference between healthy turf and grass-like weeds such as dollarweed or spurge. However, a pre-emergent for broadleaf weeds will do well to prevent dandelions, clovers, etc. from sprouting up next spring.
How Do I Kill Winter Weeds in My Yard? also has some great winter lawn care tips!
Get Rid of Debris
The fall cause the leaves to reach the ground and remain there. These leaves, along with various twigs and other organic debris, can accumulate in your yard. Mowing over them to create a fantastic natural mulch that is far easier than scraping and bagging and raking into large trash bins!
However, sometimes the mess accumulates too quickly for a simple “mow ‘n mulch.” This is when it’s important to rid your lawn of debris as quickly as possible, especially as the rain of autumn and the frost of winter begins to set in.
In the winter, sunlight is usually sparse and, plants have smaller light exposure periods. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the light reaches the plants during this time. Litter can occupy the soil and prevent the sunlight from reaching the grass and seedlings. The grass deprived of sunlight can have retarded growth. Furthermore, the minerals can also run out due to limited or no radiation penetration.
When it comes to shrub and garden beds, Mulch Installation is actually a great way to protect your landscape from winter weeds and winter freeze!
Aerate the Grass
It is essential to increase the air’s availability to your grass bed’s roots. We tend to think that only the blades need to breathe, but the roots themselves also need to obtain oxygen from the surrounding soil.
Soil that has become packed too densely can deprive the roots from said necessary oxygen, which is why it’s important to aerate your lawn once or twice per year. With winter coming on, this can be hazardous for climates that sit below freezing for extended periods. But in the temperate North Texas region, it’s a good idea to aerate to keep your grass roots “breathing” as they prepare to go dormant.
Spike the soil at certain points using an aerator or aerating boots, to allow air passage without any hindrance. Eliminating the debris across the lawn is also a measure to assure that the air reaches the soil and plants can achieve optimal growth.
For more info, check out: Why is Lawn Aeration Important?
In a mild winter, it’s helpful to mow the grass consistently to allow further growth. Mow it shorter, but understand that mowing in general will help promote deeper root growth.
For a cold winter with frequent freezes, it is safe to stave off the mowing for 1 or 2 months. Just monitor your lawn for any unexpected growth in the midst of what should otherwise be a dormant season. Either way,,winter mowing should only be done when necessary.
There are plenty of ways through which you can protect the grass and prepare it for the winter. Thus, utilizing these options helps sustain the growth of plants during the colder seasons.