Three Important Landscaping Tips To Protect Your Lawn Through Winter

by Nate on January 25, 2011

Three Important Landscaping Tips To Protect Your Lawn Through Winter

Fall can be a wonderful time for enjoying your yard. All of your hard work throughout the summer leads to a thick, lush and beautiful lawn in the fall that is perfect for hanging out with the family. However, there are a few maintenance steps that you can take during the fall months to make sure your lawn is adequately prepared for the winter. Follow these three tips and you can count on a beautiful lawn returning after the snow begins to melt in the spring.

1. Fertilize Now to Help Protect Against Crabgrass -

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that crabgrass seeds will always be present in your soil. When spring arrives, these ugly, grassy weed seeds will be germinating in lawns all over your neighborhood. Your lawn service provider can make it harder for crabgrass to grow in your lawn with a pre-emergence treatment next spring. But to give your turf an even better head start in fighting off stubborn crabgrass, fall fertilization will make a huge difference.

Fall fertilization has many advantages. In the fall, top growth slows down in your lawn as your grass plants start focusing on building up their root systems and nutrient reserves. These reserves will be used for new growth when spring arrives. Providing your lawn with larger doses of fertilizer in the fall fits perfectly with nature’s normal cycle. Your lawn will make more efficient use of fertilizer in the cooler autumn weather than at any other time of year.

The three primary nutrients in fertilizer each serve a specific function. Nitrogen is used in large amounts to promote color and top growth. Phosphorus stimulates root development. And potassium helps grass plants to resist drought, disease, and retain water.

Fertilization during the fall season is crucial for turf growth, and a heavy application of a professional, slow-release fertilizer will provide your lawn with a wealth of benefits. When fertilized in the fall, your turf will be less susceptible to disease while exhibiting improved recovery from the stresses of summer heat and drought next year. In addition, fall fertilization will lead to earlier, richer greening in the spring.

And best of all, fall fertilization will lead to a thicker lawn.   A thick healthy lawn provides the best natural weed control by not allowing room for weed seeds to germinate and grow.

2. Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn this Fall –

The wear and tear of another hot summer left your lawn in need of a makeover? If so, schedule your lawn for fall core aeration.

Though it sounds like a complicated procedure, lawn aeration is really a very simple way to rejuvenate your turf. During the process, lawn care professionals will use an aerator to remove plugs of soil from your lawn. This will break up root-choking, compacted soil, creating pathways through which air, water and fertilizer can more easily travel to your turf ‘s roots. As a result, the roots will be able to grow stronger and deeper.

After the plugs are removed, they’ll be left on the surface to dissolve on your lawn during rainfall and watering. Eventually, they’ll mix with the thatch layer to help it decompose and break down. This will make it even easier for moisture, oxygen and nutrients to reach your turf ‘s roots, and will help to discourage harmful insects that tend to make their homes among thick thatch layers.

Overseeding is also encouraged after the aeration is complete.  The aeration opens the soil allowing the seeds to make contact with the soil and therefore increases their chances of germination.  The dissolved plugs also leave a fresh layer of soil on the surface creating an improved seed bed where the new seedlings have a better chance of staying moist and thriving.  As with any new seeding it is important to keep the lawn watered after an overseeding.

Overall, lawn aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. The benefits of the process are many, and include:

- Improved turf / grass rooting
- Decomposition of harmful thatch
- Better penetration of moisture, oxygen and nutrients through the thatch layer
- Decreased water run-off for improved drought resistance
- Growth stimulation in old lawns
- Improved turf/ grass resilience

With fall lawn aeration, your lawn will be able to take advantage of good growing weather as it puts down deeper roots for the coming winter and spring seasons. Plus, core aeration can be made an even more powerful growth tool by combining it with over-seeding and fertilization.

It is important to note that aeration cannot be performed on all lawn types. Please contact your landscaping professional or lawn care specialist for more information.

3. Remove Leaves Before Winter  -

It’s great to have big shade trees in your yard. They add to the beauty of your lawn, which

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