Posted by: Discover Directory on 11/01/2018

Brace Yourself for Winter Lawn Maintenance

Brace Yourself for Winter Lawn Maintenance

As with everything this season, it’s important to prep your lawn for the winter. Sure, you could leave your yard to its own devices, but you might risk having rather dry grass once the snow melts, and who knows how luscious it’ll be once you’re ready to enjoy the outdoors again? 

Not to mention, prepping your outdoors includes more than just your lawn. There’s lawn equipment to think of, and anything you might need to update before any winter storms come barreling through. Here are four steps you should take to ensure the grass is greener on the other side of winter: 

1. Mow to the recommended length.

Before doing anything, you need to make sure your lawn is ready for the snow and ice that is most likely headed your way. During autumn, mow the grass every 10 to 14 days until all of the leaves have fallen to the ground. You should already know the recommended length for the type of grass you have (and what your neighborhood associate requires), but typically, keep your grass at 1.5 inches for warmer areas and .75 inches for cooler regions. 

If your grass is too short, you’ll likely have a scorched lawn come spring and summer. Keep it at the recommended length to protect it from fungus growth and to help delay cutting again until spring.

2. Aerate the turf. 

When your soil is moist — not soggy and not dry — preforate your soil with small holes to permit air, water, and other nutrients to get into your grass’s roots. It will help those roots grow deeper to give you a stronger, healthier lawn. You don’t want a compact soil because it’ll keep your yard from being luscious and full.

While you should do this in the spring as well, you want to aerate your turf in the fall so that it can fully recover before it’s time for winter dormancy.  

3. Switch up your lawn and garden equipment. 

Now that you’ve mowed your lawn and set it up for the winter, it’s time to put away the lawn mower and other power equipment. Clean the equipment and get rid of any grease, dirt, and plant material that has become attached to the machine, and tighten any loose nuts and bolts.

Then, sharpen the blades and wipe it down with an oily rag. Remove all of the gasoline from the tank by letting the engine run until it stops moving — or use a baster and remove as much of the gas by hand. Read more tips here. 

4. Turn off your sprinklers. 

If you do nothing else, you definitely want to take this step. Below freezing temperatures can damage your irrigation systems, resulting in costly repairs come spring. If you don’t shut off and drain your sprinklers, you’ll see immediate damage in your above-surface and exposed pipes, and then you’ll see problems with your underground pipes — resulting in leaks in your yard.

Draining an irrigation system, however, can be a difficult task. It involves completely removing water from all of the pipes, insulating all of your valves, and ensuring you have complete control over the irrigation system, even when its automatic. We recommend working with a local lawn care company to get this done for you.

There’s plenty more that you can do to prepare your lawn for winter, but these are all a great start. From clearing branches to helping your garden, the work stops when you are confident for spring.