Everybody loves that fresh cut lawn smell in the Spring, but a well-maintained lawn starts well before the flowers begin to bloom! Here are 5 winter lawn care tips to make this year’s lawn one your neighbours will be talking about:
- Cleaning (raking, protection, debris etc.)
Leaves, debris, and any objects left outside can cause problems for the growth of your lawn. Your lawn needs sunlight to grow thick and healthy, so it is important that you clean up debris to make sure sunlight can reach the grass. To protect your lawn in the winter, we recommend that you rake the leaves and twigs on your lawn at least once a week and pick up any tree branches or limbs that litter your yard.
Aeration is the process of taking out small plugs from your lawn to allow more oxygen to reach the root systems. After you aerate your lawn, be sure to rake the plugs, add some coarse sand and rake it in. This will help keep those plug holes open and allow for a continuous supply of air to those roots. Aeration also helps prevent the pooling of water that happens after it rains in the Winter months. Aerating is key to your lawn care maintenance because you’re allowing your lawn to breathe, helping it become stronger and healthier with every breath!
In recent years, we Vancouverites have seen more and more of that white fluffy stuff. It’s important to remember to continue your winter lawn maintenance even when it's covered in snow. What you probably didn’t know is that the snow helps protect your lawn in winter, creating an insulating layer from the frosty winter air. For this reason, you want to avoid walking on your grass when it’s covered in snow because this can damage it and make it vulnerable to diseases like snow mould.
- Preparation for Spring (Seeding)
If there are areas in your lawn that need some help after the frost and rain subsides, you can over-seed your lawn to bring back that thick luscious grass. To help the seeds grow, spread a layer of topsoil on the bare areas, cover in the recommended amount of seeds to keep it moist. It takes 5 to 7 days for seeds to sprout and start showing through. What you can do to help the growth process is use fertilizer in the first couple weeks, following the instructions on the package. It is best to seed your lawn in the fall, but if you seed the spring, you just might have to do it more than once.
If you don’t already do so, it’s a good idea to feed your grass with nutritious fertilizer to help keep it strong and thick all year round. To promote the grass' leaf development, you should make sure that you fertilize your lawn in late spring when the grass begin to grow. We recommend that you use a fertilizer that you’re most comfortable with because there are both organic and chemical options available with varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) at your local garden centre. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bag and to track when you’ve applied the fertilizer – too much fertilizer can burn your lawn.
While taking care of your lawn in Winter, you should start planting herbs to get your gardening started as well!