The summer heat has finally given way to cooler temps and falling leaves. This also means that the weekly mowing routine is slowing down. While many of us leave our lawn to fend for itself this time of year, there are actually some things you can do to help your grass to remain healthy throughout the upcoming winter months.
As long as the temperature is hovering above 50°F, your grass will continue to grow. Once temperatures drop below that point, it will stop growing. Typically, this occurs late October/early November each year depending on what area of the country you live in. Continue mowing your lawn up until the frost hits even if it doesn’t look like it’s grown much since the last time you mowed. Each time you mow, reduce blade height. Ultimately, your lawn should be about 2 to 2 ½ inches high by the time winter arrives. Anything less will damage your lawn. You also don’t want it too tall as this promotes mold growth.
While spring is certainly a great time to fertilize your lawn, don’t forget to ALSO fertilize in the fall. Doing so will help grass retain its strength in the upcoming strenuous months. The morning dew will help the grass absorb the fertilizer which will lead to strong root development during dormant months. Also, do not fertilize after the first frost. It’s best to fertilize 2-3 weeks before the first frost hits.
If you leave small amounts of mulch on your grass, these clippings can actually add much needed nitrogen to the soil over the winter months. Do NOT leave a thick layer of mulch, as this can actually smother your lawn by blocking out light and air, possibly causing parts to die off.
Since fallen leaves block the sun’s rays from reaching your grass, it is best to remove them. Especially in shaded areas, it’s important to gather all of them if possible. Many people remove leaves several times during the fall, while others decide to wait until the last one falls, then do it all at once. Regardless of your method, an effective leaf removal plan will keep your lawn from thinning and being damaged, better preparing your yard for the spring.
Another thing to consider is to gather toys, lawn furniture, and lawn accessories. Any item that is left on the grass can cause thin brown patches to appear when it all begins to grow again in the spring. Leaving these things out can also provide a nesting place for rodents and other critters.
Following these tips will help to ensure your yard weathers the winter AND bounces back in the spring. This is also a great time of the year to upgrade your mower! Check out the amazing deals you can find at a Spartan Dealer near you. Go test drive one and see the difference mowing with a Spartan makes!