CHARLOTTE – If you’re looking for a lush lawn year-round, consistent care is key. One essential part of this preparation is winterizing.
Winterizing a lawn is most important for cool-season grasses – such as bluegrass or fescue – that do most of their growing in fall. Warm-season grasses will still need to be cleared and mowed, but the fertilizing step typically can be left till the following spring. These simple steps will help your lawn over the winter and you’ll be rewarded in the coming spring.
- DEAL WITH DEAD LEAVES
Once fall really kicks in, you’ll need to decide what to do with the piles of fallen leaves obscuring the lawn below. Most folks throw the leaves away or place them on the compost pile. You can also use your mower to break up the fallen leaves to use as mulch.
2. REMOVE WEEDS
Winterizing a lawn, designed to improve the growth of your grass, will also boost the growth of any weeds. This makes their removal later on in the year far tougher, so it’s better to get a head start by removing them early.
3. CUT THE GRASS
While you’ll be mowing less often in fall, the process does require more finesse than in the summer months. Allowing the lawn to grow too long can lead to mold growth. Cutting it too short can cause stress right before potentially damaging frost. A balance is needed to get it right.
4. AERATE THE LAWN
To allow nutrients and moisture to penetrate the grass and reach deep into the soil, aerate the lawn before feeding. This is especially important in cases of thatch build-up in high-traffic zones that can impact not only water and nutrient absorption but also airflow and drainage through the soil.
The final step in the process is fertilizing your lawn. Fall is the best time for cool-season grasses as this is when growth spurs and more nutrients are used.
Look out for winter-specific fertilizers formulated for fall applications. These are generally higher in potassium than other lawn fertilizers to provide extra protection over winter.
For warm-season grasses that will turn brown when frost hits, avoid fertilizing in fall and wait until early spring to fertilize.
6. SOW SEEDS
Planting grass seed to reseed and repair patches in grass or overseeding the whole lawn will ensure it fills out in early spring, helping to crowd any leftover weed seeds that may pop up.
You should aim to winterize your lawn in fall, right through November but definitely before the first frosts. Winterizing a lawn is necessary as part of the process to keep grass thick and healthy.