Lawn Care

AMERICAN LAWN GUIDE

simple lawn care tips for greener healthier backyard lawns
Winterizing a Lawn

Winter can put an enormous strain on our lawns, especially in the colder regions where the grass gets snowed over. The effects of Winter are most often seen in Spring when a lawn is slow to recover, or in worst cases - the lawn actually dies off from the Winter cold.

To ensure our lawn's repair and spring back to life as quickly as possible after the snow melts, we need to prepare lawns in advance of Winter. These practices are called Winterizing a lawn, and the more in advance this can be started, the better the results will be. The process of winterizing lawns can begin in early Fall.

When winterizing a lawn, our two primary objectives are to create the strongest lawn possible to withstand the Winter cold, and secondly, to give the lawn the fastest chance of recovery when Spring arrives.

Preparing for and winterizing lawns cannot be done in Winter, all forms of winterizing a lawn must be done in the Fall while the lawn is still growing, and before it becomes dormant.

Overseed Lawns

Lawns can be overseeded early in Fall so that the seed has a chance to germinate and establish in advance of the onset of cold weather. Once the Winter is over this new immature grass will quickly take off - and thicken and green up at a much faster rate than if re-seeding the lawn was done in Spring, so we're already off to a great start with a lovely green lawn in early Spring.

Lawn Aeration

Fall is also a great time to do lawn aeration, after a long Summer of use of the lawn with kids playing, foot traffic, and generally just enjoying the garden, the lawn and its soil has become quite compacted.

The lower temperatures after the Summer heat also allows the lawn to quickly recover from the aeration process. The process of lawn aeration involves the removal of plugs of soil, thatch and turf from the lawns surface. It allows oxygen to flow freely into the thatch layer and into the soil. The best method of lawn aeration is to use a Punch Core Aerator which can be hired at a reasonable cost.

The greatest benefit of aerating in the Fall is that it allows for maximum benefits to the lawn to achieve it's greatest health before the onset of Winter. The lawn's root system gets a chance to expand with plenty of oxygen and fertilizers can be applied which will go straight to the root system for maximum benefit. Each combining to thicken, green up and strengthen the lawn before Winter.

Fertilizing

An application of fertilizer in Fall is also a good idea, remember our aim is to strengthen the lawn as much as possible. Fertilizer selection should be a little different for Fall applications, this time we want the lawn to use it's energy on creating the strongest cell structure and root system possible. Green leaf growth is unnecessary in winterizing lawns - it simply creates excessive growth at a time when it shouldn't be - which can lead to greater frost damage occurring.

Nitrogen is responsible for green leaf, and Potassium and Phosphorous are responsible for cell structure and root growth, so our lawn fertilizer selection should mirror this. Look for and purchase a fertilizer which has low Nitrogen levels and higher Potassium and Phosphorous levels.

Iron and other minor mineral nutrients are also vital for keeping lawns strong through Winter, a good Winter fertilizer should also contain these Trace Elements.