Take a few important steps to ensure your lush green turf returns in the spring.
Although you might like to think of a winter lawn as being maintenance free, you'll need to take a few important steps to ensure that your lush green turf returns in the spring. A little upkeep now will save you time and money fixing potential pest and disease problems. Here are a few helpful winter maintenance dos and don'ts for your winter lawn.
Most fertilizers and seeds can be stored in a garden shed for use the following season. Keep grass seed cool and dry, and securely seal open fertilizer bags. All products should be kept away from direct heat or flame, children and pets.
If you live in a region that doesn't get blanketed by snow, you may notice that weeds grow faster than grass in the winter. Pull the weeds by hand as soon as they pop up to avoid their spreading, since uncontrolled weed growth could kill the grass.
It's best to fertilize in the more temperate months of March and October, when the grass is primed to absorb nutrients.
Sodium-based ice and snow removers are toxic to plants. A safe alternative is calcium chloride or sand, available in-store.
Foot traffic damages frozen grass, making it vulnerable to pests and diseases. To avoid damage, take a photo of your garden before the first snowfall to help you memorize the location of all of your hibernating greens, then avoid treading on those areas. If you can't avoid walking across the lawn, lay paver stones or a soft path of mulch or pea gravel to direct foot traffic.
A fresh-cut grass blade is more susceptible to disease in cold weather. However, cool-season grasses should be mowed regularly to retain moisture.