With fall in full swing, we all know what’s just around the corner… Winter. The frigid temperatures, harsh winds, and piles of snow will be here sooner than later which is why it’s time to prepare our lawns. Here are a few winter lawn preparation tips to get you ready for the cold season ahead.
One of the most important winter lawn preparation tips is to continue mowing your lawn until the grass stops growing. Our cool-season lawns love the fall. This is a time for aggressive absorption, when the grass roots suck up all the nutrients they can get before winter hits. Cool-season grass continues to grow through October and into November so you’ll need to keep mowing until then.
For your final cut of the year, lower your mower deck to 2 inches. Shorter grass going into the winter means you’ll have less matting and reduce the risk of snow mold. Long grass is also a great habitat for voles, so cutting it short before the winter will lessen your likelihood of harboring these destructive rodents. Shorter grass also allows your lawn to green up quickly in the spring because the soil will be able to warm up faster.
Another important winter lawn preparation tip is to keep the leaf litter in your lawn to a minimum. Too many leaves on the lawn can lead to some pretty serious problems so it’s important to keep leaf litter under control. Generally speaking, the appropriate leaf cover for your lawn is around 10-20 percent coverage. However, if there are still piles of leaves on your lawn when the snow starts to fly, then your lawn will be at risk of winter die-off.
Adding a compost pile or bin to your property is a great way to produce your own beneficial fertilizer. If you already have one, then this is a great place to put the leaves from your yard. Leaves are full of helpful minerals and nutrients that, when broken down, create a very healthy mulch for your lawn, garden, and flower beds.
You can either rake up the leaves and toss them into your compost bin or, if you want them to breakdown even quicker, mulch them with your mower first. Throughout the winter you’ll want to go out and turn the leaves over a few times to help in the breakdown process. You can also add bonemeal, manure, or any other nitrogen-rich material, as this will also help break the leaves down into a fine fertilizer.
Finally, an important step in winter lawn preparation here in New Hampshire is tick prevention. Ticks are dangerous little pests that are responsible for 95 percent of all diseases caused by pests here in the United States. From Lyme disease to Powassan virus, ticks are just bad news.
In the fall, ticks look for warm, cozy places to lay their eggs and overwinter. They love to hide out in leaf piles, especially ones that are up against the foundation of a warm house. Remove any piles of leaves near your foundation to reduce the chances of having a tick problem this fall. It’s also a good idea to trim back any tree branches and shrubs if they’re close to the side of your home.
Winter lawn preparation will set your lawn up for success this winter. Not only that, it’ll make your spring lawn care that much easier. Here at Alliance Landscaping, we have the tools, experience, and services necessary to get your lawn ready for winter. From yearly lawn care programs including fall fertilization to tick control services, we can help get your lawn ready for the snowy season.