Limited sunlight, cold and damp conditions, and high moisture absorption are just some of the problems your grass faces during the winter months. Without proper winter lawn maintenance, even cool season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass or ryegrass can develop snow mould and other problems. Although winter started over a month ago, many parts of the GTA have only been experiencing minimal amounts of snow sporadically, so it’s not too late to start implementing winter lawncare maintenance to protect your grass against some of the most harmful winter perils.
Ready to learn about grass preservation? Here are some excellent tips for protecting your grass this winter.
Eliminate Weeds and Diseases
Weeds are a lot more than just a minor nuisance to your residential or commercial lawn. In reality, weeds can spread like, well, weeds if they’re not properly taken care of immediately. And they have the potential to carry and spread plant diseases with them as well. The best thing to do is to either pull weeds out at the first sight from their roots. If the problem is too big to manage manually, then you should apply a herbicide to kill off the weeds before a heavy snowfall hits.
Cool season grasses are particularly susceptible to snow mould if they become infested by weeds or diseases, so it’s important to nip this problem in the bud as soon as you notice the first signs of a problem.
Winterize Your Lawnmower
It’s not just your lawn that needs maintenance during the winter months. Winterizing your lawnmower and storing it properly will help ensure that it stays functional for as long as possible without needing repairs or replacement. But before putting your lawnmower away for the next few months, you should give your grass one more trim to prepare it for the heavy snowfalls to come. After getting one last use out of your lawnmower for the season, you should take the following steps to prepare it for winter storage:
- Check for loose parts and tighten them
- Repair or replace any damaged parts
- Change out the oil
- Sharpen the blades for next season
- Drain out the fuel
- Make sure it’s working properly before putting it away
- Read the manual for specific maintenance instructions
Don’t Add Additional Stress to Your Grass
Heavy snowfalls and ice formations can put a lot of undue pressure and strain on your grass, causing it to get matted down and eventually turn brown. To avoid putting even more pressure on your already vulnerable lawn, you should refrain from stepping on it or placing heavy objects like lawn ornaments directly on top of it as this can add even more unnecessary stress for your grass.
The more weight you apply to your grass by walking on it or placing heavy objects on it, the more moisture it’ll retain and this can actually be overkill. Additionally, try to avoid contact with winter salt and deicing agents as these contain harmful chemicals that can kill your grass.
Don’t Mow Your Lawn in the Winter
Refraining from mowing your lawn in the winter should be a given, but it’s worth mentioning. Mowing frozen grass can actually damage the grass blades. Even if you don’t get a lot of snow in your region, below freezing temperatures can cause your grass to go dormant in the winter, which means it won’t grow back or replenish itself during this time of year. Mowing your lawn will only apply unnecessary and excessive stress to your lawn.
Chip Away Ice
As mentioned, heavy snowfalls and ice formations can add a lot of pressure to your lawn and even damage your grass. And sprinkling salt or deicing agents on your grass is also a big no-no. But ice melts and will eventually become water which will inevitably pool on your grass and suffocate it, which is also not good. So how can you protect your grass from copious amounts of pooling water?
The solution is to carefully chip away the ice. Chipping the ice away will allow your grass to breathe and prevent it from effectively drowning under heavy amounts of water.
Keep Your Yard Clean as Much as Possible
Remove excessive debris, litter, and other miscellaneous items from your yard to help keep your lawn healthy and strong. The less items you have on your lawn, the better the chances are that your grass will survive the harsh winter months.
The best time to do this is throughout the fall season before the first frost hits. Remove leaves and other debris on a regular basis to allow your lawn and soil to breathe. Winter also affords a few opportunities for proper lawn maintenance. During those days in-between snowfalls when there’s no snow or ice on the ground, you should take the time to carefully rake your lawn and clean up any obstructions or litter that could harm your grass.
Need help with commercial or residential winter lawn maintenance in the GTA?
FOREVER GREEN LAWN & MAINTENANCE INC. is one of the leading lawncare and landscaping companies in Toronto and the GTA. As a family-owned and operated business, we have almost 25 years of experience working in the landscaping industry and have an undying passion for providing excellent services. Contact us today to book a consultation.