During the dark days of winter, lawns and lawn care are often the last thing on most peoples minds. It is a pretty good bet that the lawn mowers have been moved to the back of the garage in favor of the snowblowers taking the prime positions. Even in places with harsh winters, there are several things that should be done to ensure a healthy and vibrant lawn come the rays of spring and summer.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a place with long and late falls, coupled with mild winters, fertilize at the last possible chance. Spread the fertilizer across the lawn during the very late fall. The cold weather and hard ground helps trap and keep the spread fertilizer in the ground for the remainder of the fall and winter, keeping it there so when the spring weather arrives, the lawn has a head start with the needed fertilizer nutrients.
As the fall begins to wane, and the hints of winter start settling in, begin shortening your mowing heights. This gives the grasses adequate adjustment to the harsh conditions without placing it into shock. This way, when the spring comes, the grasses and still healthy and ready to soak up rays of sun and begin the annual growth cycle. Also, if the grass is left too long as the first winter conditions hit, it dries out, essentially killing the plant. By keeping it short during late fall mowing, it has time to calibrate to the shortening says and colder temperatures.
Remove all lawn furniture, toys and heavy equipment off the lawn. Anything left in one place during the winter will destroy the grasses under it, leaving an ugly patchwork of decay as the spring arrives. This includes removing tarps, sheets and plastic coverings. If you must place recycling bins or trash containers in the lawn area, build a small elevated platform so they rest on the platform itself and not directly on the grass.
An indirect way of maintaing your lawn during the winter is by keeping your sidewalks and pathways clear. Shovel and de-ice as needed so these pathways are the preferred foot paths. The lets you and others avoid walking onto the lawn which can damage the fragile plants during the winter. Avoid placing too much de-icer or salt onto the paths, as there will always be some residual that gets onto the edge of the lawn, killing the grass. Get a good ice chipper instead of using excessive salts.
Thatch your lawn before the ground freezes going into winter. This adequately aerates the grasses and soil, letting them fully absorb any remaining nutrients or foods. In addition, when the spring thaw comes, the aerated soil soaks up the melting moisture, acting like a sponge. This gets the grass growing properly once spring finally appears.
Take the down time to read about how to maintain a proper lawn. Sit back with a cup of coffee, put your feet up and enjoy a book or magazine dedicated to lawn and garden care.
Ralph Helm Inc is a proud dealer of eco-friendly outdoor power equipment from popular brands like Stihl and Toro. For more information and money saving coupons visit us online at www.ralphhelminc.com, call or visit us at any of our two convenient locations: Elgin, IL (815) 788-1616 and Crystal Lake, IL (847) 695-1616
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