November 9, 2014

When you’ve spent the spring and summer carefully tending and cultivating your lawn, you don’t want all of your hard work to dissolve over the winter. With the colder months comes the lawn’s enemy: frost. Keep this most damaging foe at bay by taking a few steps to properly protect your lawn from the cold and utilizing winter services!

Fertilize in Late Fall

Fertilizing helps protect your grass against the impending Ann Arbor Michigan cold and allows it to come back thick and green when spring rolls around. A few fertilizer tips:

  • The best time to fertilize is in late fall.
  • Choose a fertilizer that’s 10-15% phosphorous. Phosphorous helps establish root growth, which is critical for the grass’s ability to survive hard frosts.
  • Some areas are beginning to ban products that contain phosphorous as it can damage the watersheds, so check with local resources to ensure your area isn’t one of them. If you do live in one of these areas, choose a nitrogen rich product to help the shoot and root growth of your grass.

Rake and leafsDon’t Rake ALL Your Leaves

All those years your parents made you rake the never-ending onslaught of brown leaves in the freezing Ann Arbor Michigan cold may have worked against their lawn! Experts say that turning fallen leaves into mulch will help protect your grass during the winter by providing a thin layer of organic matter to shield it from the wind and cold. Bonus points as it turns into organic matter as it decomposes. You can buy a mulching attachment to add to your lawn mower to make this an extra easy chore. If there are a lot of leaves in your yard, check every week to make sure any moisture is penetrating the mulch barrier. If the water isn’t getting to the roots of the grass, the mulch layer is too thick.

Water Your Grass

Believe it or not, your dormant grass does need to be watered during the winter. If you live in a dry area, you’ll want to water your grass every week or so if you’re not getting any natural moisture. If you know a hard freeze is on its way, give your lawn a good watering a couple days in advance. It actually takes very cold temperatures to freeze soil that’s well watered. It won’t take very cold temperatures to freeze dry soil and wreck havoc on your grass. Some experts say to water a half an inch a week to maintain optimal hydration. As a side note, if you have plants that are left outside in the winter, give them a mist of water prior to the freeze. This will create an ice blanket that both insulates and protects the plant from the impending cold.

Care for an Already Frozen Lawn

It’s important to take care of your lawn when it is frozen. As a general rule of the thumb, don’t walk on or mow grass that’s frozen. You can irreparably damage the grass, and reversing the damage isn’t all that easy. Before you put your lawn to rest for the winter, be sure to keep the length of your grass a bit longer than you usually would. Experts say two to three inches is a healthy height.

Don’t throw all of your hard work away just because its winter. Contrary to popular belief, reviving your grass is possible and you can stop starting from scratch every spring by utilizing the winter services of a reputable lawn company!