Winter is upon us in full force in the south. Winter in the southern states varies greatly, with the potential for snow, ice storms, rain, and fluctuating temperatures that can range from below freezing to balmy 60s and 70s, all within the same month! Regardless of the weather, it is important to maintain your lawn care plan even during the dormant winter season. Here are 5 winter lawn care tips you can use if you live down south.
Adjust Your Sprinklers
Many homeowners don’t think to adjust their sprinkler settings from summer to winter. Continuing on a summer watering schedule can lead to overwatering for your lawn. During the winter, most grasses only require an inch of water per week. Warm season grasses don’t soak up as much water in the winter months and this overwatering can lead to problems for your lawn. Adjust your sprinklers to a schedule that allows for the recommended amount of water per week.
Cut Back on Lawn Traffic
In the summer months, turf is springy and resilient. In the winter, the turf’s energy is redirected to its roots rather than its crown, leaving dormant grass brittle and weak. Heavy traffic on your lawn while it is in this dormant, brittle state can lead to severe damage. Try to avoid heavy lawn traffic by using walkways, pavers, and sidewalks as much as possible. It is also important to avoid traffic on your lawn when frost is present as this makes it much more susceptible to damage.
Get Rid of Debris
Winter lawn debris can be leaves, branches, or any other organic material that accumulates. Leaving this clutter on top of your grass can lead to disease and bacteria and can also suffocate the turf. Removing organic debris allows your lawn to breathe which allows it to soak up the nutrients it needs from the limited amount of sun it gets during the day.
Consider Resodding Your Lawn
If your lawn is swampy or has bare spots, winter may be the time to consider resodding. Although the roots will be dormant and grow slowly, once the weather warms up they will take hold and flourish. If you decide to resod in the winter use caution – your lawn will be overly sensitive and can be damaged more easily.
Aerate and Weed
Depending on what type of grass you have, winter may be a good time to aerate. Soil compaction is exponentially worse in the wintertime. Aeration not only helps alleviate this compaction, but also allows oxygen, nutrients, and water to get to the roots where it is desperately needed. Aeration also makes your lawn less susceptible to invasive weeds that can run rampant in the winter months. For this reason, it is also important to continue weeding during the winter.
If you need help getting a jump on your winter lawn care, contact a local lawn care company who can give you a free lawn analysis and help set you up for a lush, healthy lawn come spring.
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The weather during the winter season can be harsh and unpredictable, exposing your lawn to extreme conditions. In most parts of the country, lawn grass goes dormant in the winter. While your lawn may not require quite as much work during these colder months, it shouldn’t be ignored completely. A good winter lawn care plan can help ensure your grass is lush and green come spring. Check out these winter lawn care steps to make sure your lawn is healthy this spring.
1. Plan Ahead
Preparation is key to maintaining a healthy lawn not only in winter, but year-round. Have your winter lawn care plan in place early so that you can keep an eye on the weather forecast and have enough time to put your plan into action before the first frost hits.
In the south, cool season grass is often used to overseed lawns to ensure green grass throughout the winter months. Sprinkle cool season seed over your lawn using a spreader, making sure to apply evenly to avoid clumps later. Drag a rake over your lawn to break up any clumps of soil and to help cover the seeds and then water with a garden hose. Afterwards, make sure to keep your soil moist and don’t let it dry out.
Just before the first frost is the best time for lawn aeration. This gives the turf time to breathe before the grass goes dormant. This also helps to relieve any compaction that may have built up during the spring and summer months. For small yards you can use a spade to take out spikes of soil to make holes. For larger yards you can use a manual or motorized aerator.
The best time to fertilize your yard is right after you aerate it. This allows the grass to receive the vital nutrients it needs to get ready for winter. The grass roots then absorb and store these nutrients during the winter months. When spring rolls around, these stored nutrients are used to kick start growth. Fertilizer can be applied with the same spreader you use for overseeding. Make sure to only apply the recommended amount as too much fertilizer can burn your grass. After fertilizing, water the lawn lightly to wash the fertilizer off the grass blades and onto the soil.
5. Clean and Store
Leaves can often pile up during the fall but this can be detrimental to the health of your lawn. An overabundance of leaves can cause the lawn to suffocate before winter dormancy sets in. The leaves can also become too wet, leading to disease of the grass. If the leaves aren’t too thick or wet, they can be mulched with a mower to recycle their nutrients back into the soil. If the leaves are thick, wet, or matted, rake them up and remove them promptly. Also make sure to remove any lawn furniture, debris, toys, or spare logs from your yard as these can smother the grass, lead to disease, or even invite pests into your yard.
6. Avoid Lawn Traffic
When the grass is covered with frost or has gone dormant for the year, try to avoid walking too much on the lawn. Grass can become weak if the same path is walked over too many times. Consider installing pavers or walkways that can be used to traverse the lawn instead of walking directly on the grass.
Preparing your lawn for winter can be tedious and time consuming. If the idea of doing all this preparation seems daunting, contact a professional lawn care company who can provide you with a free lawn care analysis and set you up with a comprehensive lawn care plan to ensure your yard stays lush and green through every season of the year.
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Winter weather can wreak havoc on your lawn. The cold weather can leave your grass and landscaping weak after the freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. While fall is ideally the best time to prepare your lawn for this brutal weather, spring is also an important time for lawn care. How do you get your lawn ready for spring? Follow these spring lawn care tips to ensure you have a lush, healthy lawn this spring and beyond.
Timing Is Everything
Don’t start too early! While it can be tempting to get out and get started on your lawn as soon as the weather starts to warm up, spending too much time on it before it is green can cause compacting of the grass and soil or killing new grass shoots before they get a chance to fully mature. Best practice is to wait until the lawn has turned mostly green before mowing or aerating. Check your lawn for compaction in the spring. If you find evidence of compacted soil, make plans to aerate in the fall. Aeration isn’t recommended in the spring.
Raking Isn’t Just For Fall
Raking isn’t a chore reserved just for the fall season. Raking in the spring is equally important. That’s because raking in the spring isn’t just for leaves – it also helps control thatch (a tightly intermingled layer of living and dead stems, leaves, and roots which accumulates between the layer of actively growing grass and the soil underneath). More than a 1/2″ layer of thatch is considered excessive. Raking helps break this up and removes it to allow the grass underneath to breathe. It also helps avoid mold and other diseases.
Spring is also a great time to clean up your yard before the high traffic volume of summer. Walk your yard and clean up any twigs, branches, and other debris that may have accumulated over the winter. Rake out any dead grasses you find.
Repair And Replenish
Winter can leave your yard with bare patches as a result of dog spots, neglect, high traffic, or large objects that were left out, such as lawn furniture and toys. These bare spots can be repaired by reseeding in the spring. After applying the new seed, the area should be watered daily for at least the first week and shouldn’t be mowed until the grass is at least 2 inches tall. If your thin grass needs to be thickened, you can also overseed in the spring. After overseeding, water the areas daily for at least 2 weeks. A slow release nitrogen fertilizer should also be applied when you overseed and again at 5 weeks after germination.
Fertilizer with weed killer should be applied in early spring. This not only provides nourishment for your lawn but also allows plant roots the means for strong growth. It is recommended to do a lighter fertilizer feed in the spring and a heavier fertilizer feed in the fall so as to sustain nourishment over the harsh winter months. Too much fertilizer in the spring can lead to disease and can also encourage the growth of weeds.
A good rule of thumb for mowing any time of the year is to only remove 1/3 of the total grass length at a given time. In early spring, cut your grass at the highest setting based on your lawn’s type of grass. Leaving the grass taller sinks deeper roots and also helps to crowd out emerging weeds.
Edge The Beds
Edging flower beds in the spring helps to keep grass growth from invading the beds. Edging can be done by using a sharp garden spade to cut a 2-3″ deep, V-shaped trench along the bed edges. This edging can be maintained with a string trimmer throughout the growing season and the trenches can be recut as needed.
Herbicides come in two varieties – preemergent and postemergent. Preemergent herbicides kill weeds before seedlings can emerge. Postemergent herbicides kill weeds after they have germinated. The application of a preemergent herbicide should be done hand-in-hand with the application of fertilizer. The preemergent herbicide forms a “shield” that prohibits seed germination. If you apply a preemergent don’t core aerate as this will puncture the “shield” and the herbicide will no longer be effective. Postemergents can be applied at any time. However, you should use caution and read the product label. Some postemergents are selective and will only target weeds while others will kill anything green – including grass, shrubs, and flowers.
Get Rid Of The Grubs
Hibernating grubs begin to crawl toward the surface of lawns to chew on grass roots in late spring. Therefore, a grub preventative product should be applied in early spring. It is especially important to treat for grubs if you had a problem with grubs in previous years or if you have a neighbor that you know has a problem with grubs.
Give Your Mower A Tune Up
Mowing season begins to rev up in the spring. Spring is the time to tune up and clean up your mower to get ready for use during the growing season. Change the oil, air filters, and spark plug and fill it up with gas. Clean any dirt or grass clippings that remain on the mower. Sharpen the mower blade or replace it if necessary. Before your first use in the spring, warm the mower up by letting it sit in the sun for 1 to 2 hours before cranking it. This can make it easier to start after the long winter hiatus.
Call A Pro
Lawn care can be daunting. Some people enjoy it while others look at it as a burdensome chore. Whatever the situation, a professional lawn care service can provide you with proper analysis,treatment, and timing which are critical in achieving a green, healthy lawn not only in the spring, but year-round. Contact us for a free lawn care analysis.
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The Benefits of 8 Rounds of Northwest Lawn Care
It takes more than water and sunlight to get the fresh, green, luscious lawn that you envision. It can take a lot of time and money to get the results that you desire. That’s where Northwest Lawn Care comes in. We can save you time and money by doing the tough stuff for you. So what are the benefits of lawn care?
Northwest’s Lawn Care program consists of 8 rounds throughout the year. Each round is done by our knowledgeable lawn care experts using the most advanced products on the market. Lawn Care experts conduct a FREE lawn care analysis to determine the best treatment plan for your lawn and it’s needs.
Round 1: This treatment is a deep root treatment and weed prevention/control. This treatment is especially beneficial for stronger root development and to help provide nutrients to the soil for better digestion of the nitrogen products that are applied in the Spring and Summer times.
Round 2: This treatment is a combination of fertilizer and weed prevention/control. This treatment is especially beneficial for crabgrass control.
Round 3: The main focus of this treatment is turf growth through the application of fertilizers.
Round 4: The main focus of this treatment is turf growth through the application of fertilizers.
Round 5: The main focus of this treatment is turf growth through the application of fertilizers.
Round 6: The main focus of this treatment is weed control.
Round 7: The main focus of this treatment is root growth and weed control by applying a combination of fertilizers. This treatment is vital to any program and is especially important in the prevention of poa annua. Poa annua is common in the South and begins to emerge during the early spring months.
Round 8: The main focus of this treatment is lime application. Lime is essential for regulating the pH levels in soil.
In addition to the 8 round lawn care program, Northwest also provides, aeration, overseeding, tree and shrub, bed control, and warm season aeration.
Start now to get your lawn looking lush and green for the warmer outdoor seasons!
If you’re a homeowner in the South, you probably take pride in keeping your lawn in pristine and presentable condition. However, you may not know why Americans make it a point to keep the patches of green surrounding their homes in top form. It appears as though lawns are European inventions, as the moist, mild climate supported open, close-cut grasslands. Also, the word lawn is derived from the Middle English launde, which originally referred to a glade and later to stretches of land that imitated the appearance of such glades.
The monthly winner of the best lawn may not know that he’s more than neighborhood royalty. The first lawns were the grasslands around medieval castle in France and Britain, designed to have few trees to give guards a clear view around the castle. As time progressed, the wealthy non-royalty began to adopt the use of lawns around their estates, until eventually lawns lost the connection to wealth. In the mid-19th century, in areas where cities began to grow, the opportunity to have lawns in these areas was relatively unlikely. This is when the park was born, thus becoming a public area of landscaped lawns and other greenery as well as water in the form of fountains, streams, and ponds.
Northwest Exterminating’s Lawn Care Team knows how important lawns are to homeowners. We offer a free analysis of your lawn to develop the best treatment plan before establishing a year-round service to give you the healthiest, greenest lawn possible. We also offer aeration & overseeding, tree & shrub services, and lawn disease control. If you’re interested in these services long onto www.callnorthwest.com/lawn-care to fill schedule a FREE Lawn Analysis.