Still dreaming of having a beautiful, flat lawn on your property? Winter is a real test for green carpets in harsh climates. If your lawn is going to stand up to frost and rapid temperature fluctuations, it has to be properly prepared for overwintering. Then you won't have to work hard to repair it in the spring. You will learn more about Preparing the Lawn for Winter by Bubgo article.
Winter lawn preparation equipment
1. A lawnmower or trimmer.
2. An aerator or a garden fork.
3. A regular small rake, a fan rake, a blower, or a broom.
4. Lime, fertilizer.
5. Lawn edging trimmer or spade.
6. Lawn seedling mix.
Preparing The Lawn For Winter: Step-by-step Instructions
Usually, preparing the lawn for winter is done 1-2 weeks before the first frost, starting from mid-September.
A. Stop watering all the time
1. As fall approaches, no watering of the lawn is required due to seasonal rainfall.
2. If it is still dry in the fall, continue watering the lawn but make sure no puddles form on the surface.
3. As you approach October, stop watering altogether because it has become quite cold at night and a large amount of moisture in the soil can weaken plants or cause disease to develop.
B. Collect leaves, hay, and other debris from the lawn
1. You can use a fan or a standard rake to pick up debris.
2. Steep branches can be removed by hand, while smaller branches can be treated with a blower.
The blower not only blows air outward, which easily disperses leaves and change, but also sucks air inward, collecting the debris in a special bag that can then be easily shaken into the compost pile.
C. Mow your lawn for the last time before the first frost
During the summer we can mow the lawn almost every week. As fall approaches, grass growth slows down, and mowing becomes less frequent.
1. Mow as long as the grass is growing. As soon as you notice that growth has stopped, prepare for a final mowing.
2. Cut the grass, leaving it about 2 inches (5 cm) high so that the plants have time to mature and grow to 4 inches (10 cm) in the remaining weeks, which is the optimum length for successful overwintering.
3. If the lawn is more than about 4 inches (10 cm) in height, then there will be good conditions for moss growth and disease to develop during the winter.
If not mowed in the fall, long grass will fall to the ground after the first frost and become a big obstacle to new sprouts in the spring.
When to mow the lawn for the last time
1. In the north, the last mowing is usually done in mid to late September, in the central region in early October, and in the southern region in mid to late October.
2. The exact time is always difficult to guess because there is no yearly time of year.
3. It is not certain that after such a mowing it will be an Indian summer or a warm period when the grass will not grow again. In this case, the grass will have to be cut again.
D. Removal of moss and weeds from the lawn
The presence of moss interferes with the harmonious development of the lawn. Moss absorbs the nutrients you feed to your lawn and prevents water and oxygen from easily reaching the roots. On a typical lawn, moss is a parasite! And with weeds, it's clear!
1. Use a shovel or your hands to uproot the weeds.
2. A lawn scraper can help fight the moss. If you find moss on your lawn in the summer, you should scrape your lawn.
3. After scarification, you need to collect all the moss and remove it from the lawn.
E. Treat the lawn with a deoxidizer (only if the soil is acidic)
Determining the acidity of the soil can be easily determined by using a plant indicator or a soil pH test kit. The first indication of low soil pH is the presence of moss and acidic gasses. Then the grass on the lawn grows more slowly, looks depressed, and is less lush.
You can use lime powder or chalk to deoxygenate the soil. This will raise the pH of the lawn and create more favorable growing conditions for the grass.
Spread an even layer on a dry, windless day. If snow is already lying on the ground, this is not a problem; it will melt in the spring and everything will be pulled into the ground.
F. Lawn Aeration
If there is not a "good" sand bed underneath the lawn, the soil should be aerated. This allows moisture to penetrate more easily and not stagnate in puddles, which can turn into ice crusts as cold weather approaches. This can cause voids to form in the lawn.
1. Aeration should be done in dry, preferably sunny weather.
2. Whenever you prick the soil with a pitchfork, the soil should lift slightly to allow air to get to the roots. After this process, the lawn itself will become somewhat "creased".
3. The depth of the lawn should be about 8 inches (20 cm) and the distance between the perforations should be about 10 inches (25 cm).
After that, you should let the lawn rest for 2-3 days without walking on it or performing any operations.
4. After the first rain, it will turn into the original "flat" shape.
G. Laying sod on the lawn
If holes, depressions, or irregularities appear in the lawn, fall is a good time to cover them with soil and level the surface.
1. Soil mulching is used to increase the fertility of a depleted lawn.
2. A ground cover mixture is selected for each area individually.
3. A mixture consisting of equal amounts of peat, sand, and fertile soil is generally the best choice. This type of mulch covers the entire surface of the lawn.
4. You can also use compost with sand or peat.
H. Fertilizing the lawn
The last application of fertilizer should be made before winter. Fertilizing in the fall will provide additional nutrients to your lawn to help it winter better, prevent disease and reduce the incidence of moss.
1. If lime was applied, fertilizer can be applied after about 1.5 months of deoxygenation.
2. Lawns can be fertilized with mineral fertilizers or organic fertilizers. Make sure the mineral fertilizer contains a minimum amount of nitrogen, which will stimulate the growth of green matter.
3. Fertilize when there is no wind or when there is a light breeze.
4. Apply approximately 6.6 lbs (3 kg) of fertilizer per 1076 sq ft (100 m2).
I. Treat the edges of the lawn
To ensure that the lawn maintains its beautiful shape and does not grow wide, do some treatments to the edges.
1. Along the edge of the lawn, string or twine is pulled tight enough to form an exact line. Use this to trim the lawn along the edge.
2. Trim the grass along the edge with a shovel or a special lawn trimmer. When using a trimmer, make sure it is angled into the ground in such a way that the edge of the lawn is firm and not broken.
3. After all lawn edging operations, collect all organic debris and take it away.