As days shorten and the weather grows colder, plants respond by slowing their growth. During this time, plants (including lawn grass) also shift nutrients from leaves to roots—this enables the plants to continue to return to full growth in the spring. When the seasons change, the excess nutrients in the roots allow the plants to kick back into growth while drawing on their food reserves.
Before the weather cools and the frost strikes, cut down your grass to about 1 to 1.5 inches. A shorter lawn will make the next preparation steps a little easier. The recommended length for winter may differ based on the type of grass that you have. A shortened length will allow your grass to protect itself and reduce the chances of fungus growth during snowy months.
Aerating your lawn before temperatures drop is essential. The ground can be easily penetrated when it is still a little warm out. Lawn aeration allows roots to grow deeply and become stronger. This step will allow your lawn to enter winter dormancy in the best shape possible as the roots remain healthy through the cold weather.
Adding natural fertilizer will help to ensure the return of a green and lush lawn next season. Distribute fertilizer evenly across your lawn, use a rotary spreader if necessary. Test your soil to determine the kind and amount of fertilizer will best serve your needs. A soil test can also help you to determine if you need to fertilize.
If you don’t end up using our services here is what we recommend for Fall Fertilization.
These macro nutrients are essential to boost nitrogen. The nitrogen will overwinter and allow available nutrients to allow the grass to come out of its winter dormancy
Cool Season Grasses vs Warm Season Grasses
The type of grass you have will also help you choose a fertilizer—cool season grasses and warm season grasses will react differently. Knowing your grass is the first step of caring for it. Warm season grasses include Bermuda, centipede, St Augustine, and zoysia. Cool season grasses include fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. You should not fertilize warm-season grasses after September 1 or you’ll risk fueling new growth that will likely be damaged and frozen over in the winter. If you are in a climate with a mild winter, warm-season grass can stay green throughout the winter. Cool season grasses grow strongly during fall. Apply winterize fertilizer in October or November to ensure your grass keeps its strength through the winter.
Reduce or Stop Irrigation
With cold weather conditions, you won’t need to water your grass much, if at all. Clearing snow from your lawn is a common mistake—snow will actually help protect your grass from extreme weather. It can help preserve your grass. In a cooler climate, don’t use your sprinklers during the winter months. Save the water and avoid unnecessary watering that could lead to flooding or excessive ice.
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