Winter is approaching fast! Winterizing your lawn will allow it to come back healthy and strong in the spring and stay that way through next year. There are key steps to winterizing your lawn and making sure that it’s healthy and ready to go dormant. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your lawn is ready for the cold.
Steps to Winterizing
Making sure your lawn is free of debris is always important when it comes to winterizing your lawn. Organic material is very beneficial for the lawn, but making sure that the amount you have on your lawn isn’t hindering its growth underneath is important. Leaves are good organic matter, but can be hard for soil microorganisms to break down unless the leaves are mulched; even if mulched you only want a thin layer so the lawn can still get sunlight. Once you’ve raked your lawn and removed any large debris, you’re ready for aeration.
Aerations are one of the most important steps in lawn care. In Colorado, the soil has a high clay content. Using aeration to help break this up encourages root systems to grow deeper. It also allows water and air to penetrate below the surface. This is incredibly important in developing a living soil. When you aerate it pulls soil plugs from the ground and deposits them on the surface. It creates more room for your soil to expand and soften.
When winterizing you want to use a high-quality organic fertilizer. At Organo-Lawn we use a product called Synergy, which is a 100% organic pre-emergent weed control and fertilizer. It will help prevent weed seeds from germinating by damaging their secondary root systems; which prevents them from growing to maturity. It also helps provide nutrients to the soil that will feed the lawn over the winter. Using an organic fertilizer will introduce nutrients that will be slowly broken down by the microbes in the soil. Using a synthetic fertilizer shocks the lawn’s system and gives only the grass a short lived green-up. Over time this will wear out your lawn and deplete your soil, leaving it deficient and unhealthy.
Seeding is not always a necessary step, but is beneficial if your lawn is sparse. Having a seeding done in the late summer helps make your lawn fuller and allows the grass seed to germinate before the first frost. This is ideally done between Aug 15- Sept 15. We see the highest germination rate at this time. In Colorado we recommend either a turf-type tall fescue or blue grass blend. We determine which seed to use based on the amount of shade, sun, water, foot traffic, and current variety you’re already using.
Once it becomes too cold to water your lawn it’s time to blow out your sprinkler system. This usually requires a professional because you need a high-pressured air compressor to make sure all the water has been pushed out of the sprinkler lines. Not winterizing your system can have expensive consequences if a pipe breaks during the winter.