Winter is the perfect time to invest in your lawn care skills. It’s not unusual for this winter season to bring heavy snowfall followed by prolonged low temperatures. However, with a little work, your lawn can make it through the hard times and come out looking good when spring rolls around. Here’s a quick recap of the seven winter landscaping tips you need to know.
1. Proper Mowing Habits
Remember that most grasses grow best when mowed at 2 to 2 ½ inches. The key is to make sure the lawn is evenly cut and that there aren’t any strays that are long enough to scratch or tear the surface. This will reduce your mower maintenance time, prevent grass from growing too tall and reduce weeds. Keep your blades sharp, too. Dull blades cause ragged cuts and tear the lawn, which makes it more vulnerable to weeds.
2. Tidy Up
Clean up any mowing debris right away. That includes leaves, twigs, and sticks falling from trees and plants around the yard. Please clean up the damaged shrub limbs as soon as possible because they are more likely to spread diseases. It’s also good to rake up all your leaves and dead branches that have fallen on the ground before the snow flies.
You should always test the soil before purchasing fertilizer to find the right balance. You can use a granular houseplant fertilizer or a spray bottle of water with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable or fish oil mixed in. Just make sure not to overfertilize to keep your lawn healthy and weed-free.
Saturated soil will cause the grass to die, so it’s important to aerate your lawn in the winter. For lawns that have been neglected for a long time, aeration creates a pathway for oxygen and water to flow through the grass, improving its health. It also allows you to remove some thatch, keeping your lawn looking good and removing any weeds that have grown below the surface.
5. Spray for Pests
Once the snow clears, a few moles, bugs, or birds might have been attracted to your yard by the lack of food. A couple of squirts of rat poison or pre-emergents will be enough to eliminate them and keep them from returning in the spring. Remember not to apply poison if you are pregnant or have children in the house.
6. Limit Foot Traffic
Most of the major damage to your lawn will come from you and your family. Shoes have a lot of grit on the bottom that can cause major tears in the grass. It’s a good idea to ask everyone to remove their shoes before entering the yard. When you step outside, walk slowly and pull out any weeds or sticks in your way.
Mulch insulates the ground and prevents it from freezing. You can lay down a thick coating of mulch to keep weeds from growing through your soil and prevent frost heaves when winter is finished. Mulch is also great for controlling erosion while keeping your lawn looking good.
Have fun with your lawn, and remember, landscaping takes time. There’s no need to rush through all of this –take it a little bit at a time, and you’ll be rewarded in the spring with a healthy-looking yard that lasts all year.