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Winter can be a tough time for the plants in your yard. Without proper care and preparation, your grass, trees, and bushes might not make it through the winter. You should focus on unique areas in your lawn and invest in specialized equipment to ensure your lawn's survival. For a healthy spring lawn, take the following precautions this fall and winter.
As the fall comes to a close, your lawn needs the proper preparation to ensure that it survives the winter. Major areas of concern include your grass, flower beds, and leaves.
Winterize Your Grass
Your grass is the largest plant in your yard, which means it’s the largest investment. You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace dead grass. Home owners and lawn care professionals need to take three actions to prepare their grass before the winter begins: aerate, fertilize, and mow.
Aerate: You lawn needs to breath. The process of aeration increases the exchange of oxygen between your soil and the air above it. Aerators punch holes into a lawn, allowing it to breathe. Other benefits of an aerated yard include:
Most lawns only require one aeration per year, but heavily used lawns may benefit from multiple treatments. Aerators can be an effective investment for the lawn care professional and the home owner alike. Many different aerator models exist. Identify your need, and invest in one that fits your needs
Fertilize: Due to an increased rainfall, milder evenings, and morning dew, experts consider the fall the perfect time to fertilize. This is the time your lawn begins storing nutrients for the winter. Fertilization allows the roots of your grass to store the materials they need before the cold of winter sets in. The more nutrients your lawn receives during this time, the healthier it will remain during the winter months.
Professionals use broadcast spreaders to distribute fertilizer. Designed to spread the fertilizer in a wide arc, these attach to ride-along mowers or come in walk-behind models.
Mow: Cutting your grass is the last thing that needs to happen before the winter months set in. Lengthy grass will suffer during the winter months. Cut grass shorter during the last cut of the season. This will allow the sun to reach more of grass, help your lawn avoid disease, and increase its growth rate in stunted areas.
Like all lawn equipment, a good mower is an investment in precision and beauty. A quality mower will produce a quality cut for your lawn.
Protect Your Flowerbeds
Your plants need plenty of water leading up to the winter months. A well-hydrated flowerbed is more likely to stay healthy during their less active season. Pull weeds, and trim shrubs to maximize the nutrients stored in the roots.
Before the first snowfall, but after the ground freezes, apply a blanket of mulch to the area. This will protect the delicate roots from freezing.
Rake Leaves before the Snow
As trees shed their fall foliage, your lawn wears the leaves like a heavy coat. You should remove this coat of leaves to increase your lawn's health during the fall. This will allow your lawn to breathe and receive the necessary sunlight just before the first snow.
Leaves left on the grass during the first snowfall may cause snow mould or other fungus to develop.
Even during the winter months, it is important to keep up your lawn care with the following activities.
Snow blankets many towns and cities during the winter months. While a well-prepared lawn can safely endure winter’s frost, some things homeowners do to control snow and ice can damage your yard's plant life.
Many homeowners use salt to melt snow and remove ice from sidewalk and driveways. However, too much salt may can damage plants by pulling water away from their roots. The simplest way to prevent this is to remove snow with a snow blower and shovel.
For larger lawns or driveways, consider clearing out snow by attaching a snow plow to a truck or ATV.
Prune Your Trees and Shrubs
The best time of year to prune or trim a tree is in late winter. When pruning smaller areas, use shears or pruning scissors. Lager stems or branches may require a chainsaw or power cutter.
A few reasons to prune your trees or bushes include:
Homeowners and lawn care professionals can maintain a well-manicured lawn year-round by taking preparatory steps in the fall and winter. If you want to maintain a high-quality lawn, invest in the proper equipment and take the right preparatory and maintenance steps. Then look forward to a healthy, green lawn when spring rolls back around.