During the spring and summer, our lawns are often on our minds. These are the times of year that we want to be outside enjoying them, so they get a lot of attention. But if you want that beautiful lawn in May and June there is a lot you can do to help in December and January! Here are some tips on how to care for your lawn during winter months.
1. Mow Your Lawn One Last Time
Before it gets too cold make sure to give your lawn one last mow. If left over the winter, long grass can become a great home for mice and insects. You don’t want it cut too short though. If it’s too short the roots can be damaged by the cold! Warm-season grass should be between 1.25 to 2.25 inches over the winter.
2. Clear Debris and Put Furniture Away
Make sure you remove any furniture, planters, and decor that is on your lawn. Leaving these in one place can leave dead spots that will be hard to bring back to life. It is also important to clear your lawn of any debris like fallen branches and/or leaves. Leaves can cause two different problems. First, they can stop your grass from getting any sunlight. Since there is less direct sunlight in the winter it’s important for your grass to get every ounce of sunlight available. Secondly, if leaves get wet they will create a damp environment that can lead to mold and/or disease. If your leaves are wet, rake them. If they aren’t wet, mow them to break them up into smaller pieces. This will give your lawn good nutrients heading into spring.
3. Fertilize Your Lawn
The last application of fertilizer for the year will depend on whether you have a warm-season grass or a cool-season one. For warm-season lawns, we recommend that your final fertilizer application be in the late summer or early fall. Cool-season grasses can be fertilized in the late fall. Applying fertilizer at the appropriate times is key to lawn health! Give your lawn enough time to bulk up for the cold weather. Storing energy effectively before the cool season hits will set your lawn up for success when the growing season comes around in the spring!
4. Watch Out For Winter Chemicals
Deicing chemicals and salts can damage and even kill your lawn. It’s best to not apply these to areas that border your lawn like driveways or walking paths. If you have to make sure you use them sparingly and/or use plant-friendly products. Since Georgia doesn’t see much in the way of ice or hard freezes in the winter, it’s typically unnecessary to “winterize” your lawn. You can skip the special lawn winterizing treatments!
5. Get Off My Lawn!
While we believe lawns are made to be enjoyed, staying off them in the winter can help quite a bit. Your lawn is under a lot of stress during those cold months. To limit this stress as much as possible try to avoid walking on your lawn. Continued traffic in an area during the winter can damage your grass and root system. Try to stay on walkways whenever you can.
There is nothing better than enjoying those warm and sunny days on your nice green lawn. Put in the work with these winter lawn care tips and set yourself up for success once springtime rolls around.