Love your lawn, but hate how winter makes it a brown mess when spring arrives? Use these tips to protect your grass in winter so you'll have green grass in spring.
Sure, you’ve likely mowed for the last time until spring, but that doesn’t mean you’re finished preparing the lawn for winter. (Don’t worry; you don’t have to do nearly as much lawn maintenance in the cooler months.) Become a pro at knowing how to take care of the lawn in winter — and help ensure you’ll be able to enjoy lush, green grass when springtime rolls around — by following these five simple winter lawn care tips.
1. Cut Down On — or Eliminate — Scheduled Watering
Depending on where you live, your lawn may not need any additional watering in the wintertime, now that the weather is cooler. If you are in a warmer climate, simply reduce how often and how long you water the lawn. If you’re in a cooler climate, stop your sprinklers altogether. Watering doesn’t help if the water ends up freezing anyway.
2. Keep Your Lawn Tidy
Make sure your lawn stays clean and neat. That includes removing furniture, toys, branches, leaves and other debris. They can smother the grass, create conditions conducive to diseases and invite pests — resulting in a not-so-gorgeous yard in the spring. In addition, remove any weeds that pop up. If you live in a region with warm-season grass, yours has probably turned a buff color in its dormancy, making it easy to spot those pesky green invaders.
Bonus Tip: Along with removing anything that doesn’t belong on the grass, also remedy or eliminate any places where water can collect around the yard. Otherwise, you may end up with a mosquito infestation when the weather warms up, as standing water sources are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
3. Leave the Snow
A snow-covered lawn doesn’t just look pretty; it’s actually beneficial for your grass. In fact, a blanket of snow is just that — a blanket. It helps to insulate the grass and ground from the crisp, bitter winter air.
4. Watch Where You Shovel
If your area gets heavy snow, shoveling that snow is a regular part of your routine. Did you know that shoveling snow from salted areas onto your lawn can cause damage to your grass, though? If it’s necessary for your driveway and walkways and you can’t avoid getting it on your grass, consider using calcium chloride–based mixtures versus sodium chloride–based ones.
5. Avoid Excessive Traffic
Repeated walking or driving over snow-covered or frozen turf can damage the existing grass and leave bare spots in the spring. Never park a car on the lawn, and make sure everyone who visits walks along your driveway and walkways instead of your grass.
Want more winter lawn care tips? Find out how to protect your plants this winter.