It goes without saying that winter isn't exactly prime time for lawn care, and most of us spend the cold months thinking about things like snow shoveling and roof maintenance. If you want to have your lawn be as healthy and beautiful as it can be when spring comes, however, there are a few things you should think about even when it's covered with snow and ice.
To help you get the most out of your lawn for every season, we would like to offer you a handful of winter lawn care tips:
Stop mowing your lawn after the first frost
Doing so can expose your lawn (which may no longer be growing) to the elements during the harsh winter months. Leaving your grass too short can also encourage dryness and evaporation, which can lead to problems with bacteria and stunted growth later. While it's not a bad idea to cut your lawn a little shorter than normal in the fall, stop trimming it once the temperatures drop below freezing.
Add a thin layer of mulch before it's too cold
Although too much thatch (dead leaves and branches) can be damaging to your lawn, especially in the fall, a thin layer of mulch can protect your grass roots from snow, frost, and inclement weather. It can also prevent deeper layers of your soil from freezing altogether, making it easier for your lawn to return in the spring.
Try to stay off a snowy lawn
Too much walking on a lawn that has been covered with snow or ice can be damaging, since the grass underneath is more brittle when it's frozen. If it's at all possible, try to direct foot traffic through a path that goes around your lawn, rather than directly over.
Make sure water isn't building up in the winter months
Although it may be easier to recognize that snow and ice can be damaging to your lawn, the water they leave behind can pose problems as well. Poor drainage doesn't just allow topsoil to rinse away, it also clears the way for fungus, insects, and other pests that can be damaging to your lawn's growth when spring comes.
Look out for weeds
When it isn't snowing, try to take a quick look through your lawn to see if any weeds have taken root and pull them if necessary. Some types of weeds are sturdier than grass is and can take advantage of the colder weather to grow and spread, so removing them early on is a good way to protect your lawn in advance of warmer weather.
Keep your lawn equipment and supplies out of the cold
Obviously, you don't want things like lawnmowers and gasoline containers to be left out in winter conditions, but it's also important to properly store things like fertilizer and grass seed. Because these are organic elements, freezing them isn't a good idea. Keep them in a dry, safe place until they're ready to be used again.
You don't have to do much to care for your lawn in the winter, but following these simple steps can make it easier for you to enjoy a healthy green bed of grass once the spring months return.