When winter sets in, you probably want to stay indoors all the time due to the unfavorable weather conditions. Do not fall into the trap of neglecting your lawn as you search for comfort. Grass tends to go dormant in winter and loses its attractiveness and lush.
If you do not take good care of it, some parts of the grass might die. In the worst scenarios, the entire lawn can turn bare. That means you would have to grow grass from scratch, which is expensive and time-consuming. Instead of going through all the hassle, take care of your lawn, and it will remain green throughout the season. Here are some of the things you can do to keep your lawn green in winter.
1. Feed the grass
Grass requires nutrients to grow healthily and remain green. Ensure the soil is not frozen when adding fertilizer, as it will not benefit from the nutrients. Frozen soil cannot absorb nutrients. Follow the direction of usage from the manufacturer to ensure you apply the right amounts. Afterward, water your lawn so that the fertilizer that might have been deposited on the grass blades will fall off to the soil surface.
You can also use foliar fertilizers as they will easily get absorbed by plants through the leaves. Fertilizer pellets may not get absorbed by the soil, especially when it has frozen.
The only difference between feeding the lawn at this season and other seasons is that you should not use the usual fertilizers. Remember, the growth rate of grass slows down in winter, unlike in other seasons. Iron and potassium are some of the essential minerals that will be most beneficial to the grass.
2. Weed Your Lawn
Weeds may start germinating in the patches where grass has become dormant. They might also overtake the grass since it is in a vulnerable state. Continue weeding your lawn if you find any weeds. Use a selective weed killer that will get rid of the weeds and not tamper with the grass.
Weeds may cause other problems in a lawn, like hosting pests that may damage the grass. Some of them are very aggressive and will easily take over a lawn. Some weeds like dandelion and nutsedge can easily be removed by hand. Ensure you get out the entire plant from the ground. If you leave rhizomes in the soil, they will grow to new weeds later. Uproot the weeds when the soil is moist, as it is easy. Uprooting from dry soils will be very difficult and tiresome. You will also risk leaving some parts of the plants in the soil. If there are stubborn weeds, uproot them using a garden hoe or a shovel.
3. Aerate Your Lawn
When you aerate your lawn, you help the grassroots absorb moisture and achieve proper air circulation. If a lawn is not well-aerated, it will not benefit much from irrigation or rainwater, as the water will only get to the foliage of the grass, and not the roots. It will not be of any help since it canâ€™t be absorbed while on the foliage. Use an aerator to aerate the lawn.
Lawns with high traffic will require more aeration than those with less traffic, as they tend to get compacted faster.
4. Rake the Lawn
Get rid of leaves and other debris from your lawn. They cover the grass and prevent it from getting sufficient sunlight. Insufficient sunlight is already a problem that affects plants during winter, and having debris makes the situation worse. If the grass does not get enough sunlight, it cannot make enough chlorophyll, which gives it the green color. It will soon start turning brown. Debris and other fallen materials also make a lawn look bad and uninviting. Use a rake to get rid of them.
5. Water It Correctly
In contrast to a belief of many, a lawn requires frequent watering during winter. Use a sprinkler to water it, early in the morning. This gives the lawn ample time to dry and protects the grass from developing diseases.
When to water the lawn is equally important. Ensure the temperature is above the freezing point when watering. Do not water a lawn with frozen soil too. The water will not penetrate deep enough to reach the roots.
6. Overseed The Lawn
Spread grass seeds all over your lawn during winter, especially if it has some dry patches. The grass will germinate and fill up the patches, and the lawn will be entirely green. Grass becomes very vulnerable during this season and may start drying. Overseeding ensures that dried up parts are not easily noticeable.
7. Reduce Lawn Traffic
High lawn traffic may injure the grass at its vulnerable stage. The grass may not recover. Try to reduce the traffic to prevent these injuries. A little bit of traffic will not cause damage. Frequent stepping of the grass makes the soil compact, reducing the air circulation. Walking on it after rainfall is even worse, as it will get compacted easily. Construct a walkway to prevent people from stepping on the grass.
8. Mow the Lawn Low
The grass will not completely stop growing during winter. It will grow but at a slower rate. Leaving the grass to grow long is not advisable as it might provide shade, which creates good conditions for the development of diseases. It also prevents the grass on the lower side from getting sufficient sunlight.
Lower your mowing height to about 2.5 cm during winter. This enables the sun to penetrate through the grass and prevents scalping. Mow it after every four weeks. Avoid mowing after heavy showers, as it can cause more harm than good. The lawnmower may dig into the soil and damage grass that has just germinated.
Although one might try to avoid outdoor activities during winter, try as much as possible to maintain your lawn properly. Mow it correctly, add fertilizers, and all the other maintenance practices, and enjoy a green lawn, despite the unfavorable weather conditions. The grass does not always have to turn brown. If it does, you probably have not taken good care of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Collect all the debris and leaves from the lawn, as they might pile up and create shade on the grass. They prevent it from getting sufficient sunlight, which is a key requirement for attaining the green color.
Watering the grass in the morning gives the foliage enough time to dry up. If you water it in the evening, it will remain moist for the rest of the night, making it susceptible to diseases.
The grass may go into a state of dormancy and turn brown. It is just a way of responding to the harsh climatic condition. It then turns to green when the conditions get favorable.
Pests will attack grass regardless of the season. Get rid of them by applying the correct insecticides. Maintaining your lawn properly also goes a long way in preventing the invasion of pests.