Reviving Your Lawn After The Winter Months
Every lawn is different in both the way it is designed and the way it is maintained. Reviving your lawn after the winter months comes down to what plants you have as well as the amount and type of damage you see once the thaws hit. Once the frost is beginning to let up and the mounds of snow are finally starting to shrink it is time to go out and inspect your yard and assess the damage.
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to getting back into gardening and lawn car after the cold winter months is, they start too soon. You must have patience, or you could end up doing more harm than good. Reviving your lawn after the winter months cannot be done safely or effectively when the ground is still flooded and soggy with melting snows. You need to wait until all the snow and ice are gone and the ground has dried before reviving your lawn after the winter months.
A general clean up of your yard should be one of the first things you begin with when you start back to your post-winter yard work routine. The winter months easily leads to a gathering of leaves and branches that were never cleaned up before the first snow fell or that came down with winter storms. The first step to getting your yard back in order and looking it’s best to clean up all this debris. After that is done, you are going to want to check the pH levels and the nutrients in the soil.
Checking Your Soil
Nutrients can wash away and the pH levels change due to large amounts of melting snow. Poor soil will not provide the nutrients your lawn and plants need to be healthy. Ideally, you want soil that has roughly equal amounts of silt, sand, and clay as well as being fairly loose but has enough clay to absorb water effectively. The ideal pH level for yard soil is around 6.5 or 7, but levels vary between different grass species and climate conditions. Be sure to test before you start any new grass and plants.
Fertilize the soil at the recommended levels for your yard size, grass type, and weather conditions. Our team at Country Landscape and Supply can help you ensure you are using the right type and strength fertilizer for your lawn. Make sure you keep weed-and-feed fertilizers away from garden plants or other plants and flowers you want in your yard. The weed killer will indiscriminately kill any green non-lawn grass material that it falls on, including your garden flowers.
Due to large amounts of snow and ice that accumulates on the lawn, your soil is likely very compact. To fix this you need to aerate the soil so grass roots can easily grow. There are two types of aeration you can do; plug or solid spike. Solid spike dig holes into the lawn that allow water and air into the lawn. Plug aerators remove a small plug of soil to allow for a larger opening for the water and O2. Both can be effective and reviving your lawn after the winter months often depends on good aeration.
Re-establish Where Needed
Despite all the tender loving care that you give your lawn, there may be some areas that just do not come back healthy or that just won’t grow at all. You may need to consider reseeding these areas or if you have larger areas that need help you may be better off with sodding to get your yard re-established. Seeding is cheaper but has more problems with birds and wildlife eating the seeds. Sodding is more expensive but as long as they stay moist and protected, they will grow faster than seeds will.
Cold and heavy snow can reach staggering amounts in the winter months, and just as they can cause problems with the grass, they can also create weed issues that kill your yard. Grass might not survive the cold and snow, but weeds definitely will. The best way to stay on top of the weed problem is to remove as many of the weds as you can when you are first getting everything cleaned up and back on track after the thaw. Be prepared to dig up the roots or use a strong weed killer and check several times a week for new weeds.
Give Your Lawn a Drink
Be sure to give your lawn about an inch of water every week. One mistake many homeowners make is they think they can slack off for a week or two and then give twice as much water the next time to make up for it. Doing this can actually cause you to inadvertently drown your already struggling post-winter grass. Water in the morning before the sun gets too high and water at least an inch every week to ensure the grass is encouraged to send down deep strong roots into the soil.
Be Smart With Mowing
When you are not thinking about the aesthetics of your lawn, it is healthiest for your grass to be long. For grass that is already struggling to grow, lopping off the green stuff it has worked so hard to grow won’t help it at all. When spring comes around, refrain from instantly attacking the grass with the mower at its lowest setting. Let the grass stay high and gradually reduce the cut height. Longer grass yields more sunlight and food an also helps protect the roots and the grass from insects and disease.
Patience Yet Again
And once more you need to be patient as you begin working on reviving your lawn after the winter months. Your lawn isn’t going to grow overnight or even in a week. You will need to spend several weeks to a month or more to get things back to where they were before the snow fell. Here at Country Landscape and Supply, we are committed to helping homeowners like you get back the yard they remember before everything turned cold and white. Call us today to see how we can help!