01 February 2010

Winter and Spring Lawn Care - What to Do Next

All About Lawns

Wondering if you're off the hook yet with your lawn? This helpful list includes a few simple guidelines for what maintenance steps you can still take with your lawn (unless winter has come early--hello, Denver), and what things on which you should hold off until spring.

There is still time for:

    * "Clean" your lawn in preparation for winter. Removing leaves, branches, and any debris from your lawn before colder temperatures and/or snowfall is a great idea, and in most areas of the country, you still have time. (Sorry, states like Colorado; hopefully your lawn was ready!).

    * One last meal for your lawn, in warmer climates. Seeding in late fall is called "dormant seeding." This practice enables seed to take root while your lawn is dormant during the colder months. If your local temperatures have already begun to sip into the 40s, hold off until spring. You can keep opened bags of fertilizer, too, if sealed and stored properly.

    * Tackle those weeds. Some kinds of weeds grow healthily during the winter, so if snow and cold temperatures don't keep them away, you can continue weed killing all the way until spring.

Wait until spring to:

    * Install new landscaping elements. Unless you live an area like the Southwest, where winter temperatures may get cool but never cold, and you have plenty of sun, wait until spring to install new landscaping elements like edging, trees, ponds, and more.

    * Seed patchy areas. Chances are, those pesky patches in your lawn won't get worse during the winter. Your lawn will be preserved beneath snowfall or simply by the colder temperatures.

    * Start a new lawn. Processes like soil testing, seeding, and even hydroseeding are best done right before prime grass growing season in the spring and summer. When you do plant a new lawn, plan ahead for next winter if you like rich, green grass. Rye and Kentucky bluegrass are great grass choices for their deep color.

Remember, in order to get the most from your lawn come springtime, it's best to let it rest during the winter. Most grass grows when temperatures are above 46 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area where temperatures will never get this low, feel free to continue light maintenance like mowing. If you are using reel mowers, keep your setting high. You want to give your lawn the best chance to rebound and thrive again in just a few months.

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