We are in the middle of October in New Hampshire, and we all know what that means, old man winter is right around the corner. While you are out enjoying your corn mazes, pumpkin carvings, haunted houses, and wearing scary costumes, don’t forget about your lawn. Most think that when the summer ends, so does our lawn care. That is simply not the case. There are several things you can do to help protect and ready your grass for the upcoming snow, frigid temperatures and harsh weather ahead.
Here at Alliance Landscaping, we are already preparing our customer’s lawns for the forthcoming season with fertilization, weed control, green-up, and various other services. Here are a few winter lawn preparation tips to help get your turf ready.
Don’t put the lawnmower away just yet! One of the most overlooked fall preparation tips is to continue mowing the grass until it stops growing. In New Hampshire, we have a variety of cool-season grasses that tend to continue growing through October into November. During the fall, the grassroots are trying to obtain all of the nutrients they can gain before winter hits. Keeping your grass cut at a consistent level is key to keeping it strong and healthy through the season. For your final cut of the year, we recommend that you lower your mower deck to two inches. A shorter cut will help prevent matting and reduce the risk of snow mold.
Going into the frigid New Hampshire winter, your lawn requires stored nutrients. Fall fertilization will give your grass all the nutrients it needs to grow a strong and healthy root system. One last treatment of fertilizer in the fall will help protect your lawn from the cold weather stresses that come with the winter.
Just like your turf, weeds are working on storing nutrients for the winter. Broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, henbit, and chickweed all germinate in the cool, moist periods of September and October. They overwinter as small plants, and when spring arrives, they multiply. Once they reach the flowering stage, they are almost impossible to control. The advantage of getting them in the fall is that their seedlings are not yet established. And unlike the summer when weeds are focusing on top-growth, weeds are storing energy in their root system and are more susceptible to herbicide applications in the fall.
Leaving water in your sprinkler system over the winter can lead to costly damage. Before soil temperatures dip below freezing, drain all of the water out of your pipes and shut off the water. If you aren’t familiar with how to winterize your sprinkler system, call Alliance Landscaping at 603-622-1111, and one of your technicians will be more than happy to help you.
You may be wondering, what should I do with all these leaves? Leaves are full of beneficial minerals and nutrients. When broken down, leaves create a healthy mulch for your lawn, garden, and flower beds. You can either rake them or toss them into a compost bin. Or, mow over your leaves with the lawnmower to cut up the leaves into smaller pieces. Chop them up a few more times until the pieces are small. This new mulch will settle under the grass and give it a nice layer of fertilizer. It can also help your grass retain more moisture keeping it greener longer. Feel free to add bonemeal, manure, or any other nitrogen-rich material, as this will help break the leaves down into a fine fertilizer.
We suggest taking the time to protect any young and vulnerable trees with tree or trunk wraps during the fall. This will help to protect the bark from sunscald, which can cause permanent damage to their trunks. Pests can also become a big problem in the fall. During this time, they begin to overwinter and lay their eggs on and inside the bark of your trees. At Alliance Landscaping, we apply dormant oil in the fall as part of our tree and shrub care program. Dormant oil, otherwise known as horticultural oil, effectively kills all insects and smothers all eggs inside the bark.
In the fall, ticks look for warm, cozy places to lay their eggs and overwinter. Eliminate any hiding places throughout your lawn such, as leaf piles, and keep your landscape beds clean. Trim back any tree branches or shrubs close to your home. Lastly, contact the professionals at Alliance Landscaping, and we’ll get you set up right away with our tick and insect control.
Getting your lawn prepared for the winter can be a time-consuming task. But with help from Alliance Landscaping, it doesn’t have to be. We have the tools, experience, knowledge, and services necessary to prep your lawn for the upcoming winter. From yearly lawn care programs including fertilization and weed control, to our flea and tick control, we offer everything you need. Give us a call at (603) 622-1111 or leave us a message here. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram for the latest news and tips from the pros.