As we move along toward the cold winter months, it is very easy to forget about your lawn. The leaves are almost all off the trees, holiday lights are being hung, and soon we will be indulging in large meals. We all know that during the winter we get a relief from the weekly mowings, trimmings and other yard work, but here are some thoughts to consider before you put your lawn to bed for the winter.
We often hear or see information about winterizing fertilizers. What exactly is a winterizer? The basics come from soil and air temperatures. Air temperatures will cool quicker, which will slow and eventually stop the top growth of your lawn. However it takes a little bit longer for your soils too cool down, and this is where we want our winterizer.
Winterizer fertilizers often have higher amounts of nitrogen, and less slow release mechanisms. This allows for the fertilzer to do it’s magic in a short period of time. While the soil is warmer, the roots are growing deeper. The fertilizer helps build a strong root system that will encourage a quicker green up in the spring, and a deeper root system to handle next year’s summer stress.
I’m not a mechanic, and I won’t pretend to be. However at this time of the year, you want to make sure that your mower is properly housed for the winter. Making sure that your fuel tank is empty, or has some form of stabilizer is important. This helps to keep lines from being trouble some in the spring.
This is also a great time to think about getting your mower tuned up. Many local shops will provide expert service to your mower to keep it properly cared for, and ready for next year’s chores.
Finally, read your owners manual. This should provide a nice detailed description of what the best over wintering strategy is for your mower.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about seeding lately. Here is what you need to consider.
- Seeds sown today will more than likely not germinate until next spring
- If they make it through the winter you should see germination around mid to late March of next year
- If you normally use a crabgrass pre emergent product, you will want to keep that product away from any area that is newly seeded. This can inhibit your germination next spring.
- Growing grass is best done in the fall. If you can wait until next fall plan for that. If not, you can still get a decent establishment in the spring. Different herbicides will help your new lawn look it’s best. Ask your Weed Pro specialist about how best to establish your lawn from seed.
These tips are just a few to help your lawn and landscape get through the winter. As the season progresses, check back for more updates.
Get Ready for the Spring!
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Guest Author: Andrew Muntz received his Master’s of Science in Turfgrass science and his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Horticulture at The Ohio State University, Columbus OH.