Winter Lawn Care Tips
Pro Tip: Don’t Wait for Winter
January 26, 2023
There’s a lot you can do to help your lawn survive the winter. However, most of these things should be done before or after the harsh, cold season. While it may be too late to implement all of these winter lawn care tips this season, it’s never too late to plan for next season.
Winter Lawn Care Tips
When it comes to winter lawn care, it’s more about what you don’t do:
- Most grasses, trees, and plants go dormant in the winter. This means less lawn mowing and weeding.
- Make sure there are no leaves, debris, or furniture out on the lawn. Any of these could smother the grass, create disease, and invite pests.
- Limit the foot traffic on your lawn. While dormant grass can bounce back, wearing down a path causes compaction. Walking on frozen grass also breaks the blades.
While there’s not a lot to do outside, there’s plenty to do to get ready for spring. Use this downtime to set reminders for some of the most beneficial yard tasks.
Getting Ready for Spring
If you’re itching to get back outside in the garden, spend this dormant winter season tree pruning and yard planning. Yes, planning. Just because you can’t dig in the soil, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning these projects. Making notes will act as important reminders during the busy spring season.
- Aerating. This process pokes holes in your lawn to open up pathways for water and air to circulate and reach the roots. Obviously, you don’t want to do this while the ground is frozen. Wait until the soil is soft enough in the spring. It’s also a good activity for the fall. Leave the soil plugs in the lawn to naturally decompose and act as fertilizer. While you can use handheld aerating tools, there’s larger equipment that makes it easier to tackle bigger lawns.
- Fertilizing. Once you’ve opened up your lawn by aerating, help promote healthy root and grass growth with nutrient-rich fertilizer. Wait until the soil is moist enough to properly absorb the product. There are different types for treating your entire lawn or targeting certain areas.
- Seeding. Once the grass starts growing again, you may notice some brown or bare spots that didn’t make it through the winter. Patch them with specialized grass seeds. The soil also needs to be soft and moist enough for the seeds to germinate properly. Remove any thick thatch layer that will prevent the seeds from sprouting. Aerating helps with this as well.
Start marking your calendar for when you want to target these tasks. Aim for later in the spring when there’s no chance frost will hamper your efforts. It’s also best to do these tasks in order. You can fertilize immediately after aerating to help improve the soil and then reseed any areas in need.
Being better prepared for the busy growing seasons in the spring and fall will help strengthen your lawn so it can survive the harsher winter and summer seasons.
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