With the winter months practically upon us, it’s good to remind ourselves that our lawns still need some attention during the colder weather. By preparing your lawn for winter, you’re also preparing it to thrive again in the spring.
Generally speaking, the warm-season grasses we use here in Georgia require less winter maintenance than our cool-season neighbors up north—but the cooler weather still presents us with an opportunity to prepare for winter.
Keep Mowing Until Your Grass Stops Growing
The cooler weather means your warm-season grass will go dormant, and you can eventually stop mowing it. But until it stops growing, keep mowing.
Rake Leaves or Shred Them for Mulch
If you allow leaves to remain on your grass more than a few days, they can turn into a wet mat that blocks out sunlight and air, promoting fungal growth.
You can put those leaves to work for you, as well, by turning them into mulch. Shred them using a mulching mower and leave them on your lawn—the extra organic matter will help feed your grass come spring.
Thatch is different from mulch—it’s the un-decayed matter (twigs, stems, leaves, etc.) that accumulates between the soil and the tips of the grass. It can keep air, water, and nutrients from reaching your grass’s roots.
A good stiff rake or thatching rake will be effective at removing thatch.
A little extra fertilization can help make sure your lawn doesn’t go brown in the winter. Fall fertilizers high in nitrogen and potassium can give your warm-season grass the boost it needs to stay green through the cold.
For advice on the types of organic fertilizers that would be effective on your specific species of grass, consult a lawn care professional.
Fall is the perfect time to fight weeds, because they will be absorbing as much energy as possible to prepare for winter. You can use this to your advantage by introducing a “weed eliminator” into the mix, which the weeds will immediately drink up.
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