November 24, 2015
We all tend to spend less time outside during the winter months and because of this it is easy to neglect the yard for months on end while staying cozy and warm indoors. However, making sure your yard is properly maintained and cared for even in the coldest months will help it to stay healthy all year long. In fact, caring for your lawn in the winter months is one of the best things you can do to ensure a healthy growing season in the spring and summer. Here are a few simple things you can do to protect your yard this winter.
You may think that because winter is coming that you can stop watering your lawn. However, it is not uncommon for snow accumulation to fall short of your yard’s water needs. This is why winter watering in Denver is vital to keeping your grass and plants happy and healthy all winter. You’ve probably shut off your sprinkler system for the winter months, but you can always turn on the hose and give your lawn a quick drink of water on a cool winter day.
Most lawns in Colorado are comprised of cool season grasses like Bermuda and bluegrass. The best time to fertilize these grass species is in the late fall or early winter before the first freeze (you still have time!). Nutrients from the fertilizer can be lost during the hot summer weather, but once the temperatures turn cold the fertilizer will stay in your soil and feed your lawn all season. This is the best way to ensure your lawn will be healthy and beautiful come springtime.
It is tempting to let your dead grass sit in the winter, but gradually cutting your grass shorter as the winter months approach is important for a number of reasons. First, grass can go into shock if you cut it shorter than normal all at once. Slowly lowering the cutting base of your lawn mower will prevent this. Second, cutting your grass as short as possible in preparation for winter will protect any new growth that is in its most fragile state. Grass that is too long also runs the risk of smothering itself under the weight of the snow, which can cause damage and disease to spread. Finally, if your grass is too long it can provide field mice and other burrowing animals the perfect place to build a nest for the winter. This often results in large dead spots by the time warm weather returns.
Because you will be spending less time outdoors as the temperatures drop, it is common for debris and stray object to be accidentally left out on the lawn during winter. If these objects are left and covered with snow it can result in unsightly dead spots. To make sure your grass is not smothered during winter, remove any toys, wood, furniture, and other foreign objects. You will also want to thoroughly rake any leaves off of your lawn.
While grass is normally quite resilient, when it is short and brown it can be worn down more easily than usual. To prevent footpaths from damaging your lawn during winter, be sure to keep your sidewalks cleared and never allow any vehicles to park on the grass.