In Western Michigan, winter weather doesn’t always wait for winter. All of a sudden, late fall’s upon us and you haven’t gotten around to winterizing your lawn yet. What can you do to protect your lawn from the harsh winter weather and have it ready for the new growing season when spring returns? Here, we will discuss 5 tips for last-minute lawn winterization.
1. Apply a Pre-Winter Fertilizer
It might seem counterintuitive to fertilize grass in the fall, but it’s actually one of the best times for it. Grass continues to grow until the first hard freezes come, so it makes a lot of sense to “feed” your grass while it’s still growing. Pre-winter fertilizers are specially crafted to promote strong growth, strengthen roots, and improve resistance to diseases ahead of winter.
Fall fertilization is especially helpful for newly planted grass. Without it, the new grass may not be strong enough to withstand the brutal temperatures of the Michigan winter. Whether grass is new or established, fall fertilization promotes healthier grass, positioning it for a great start when spring finally comes back.
2. Aerate the Lawn
By the time fall rolls around, soil is usually well compacted, making it harder for water, sunlight, and nutrients to penetrate to the grass roots. Aeration is the process of poking “holes” in the soil, which loosens it and makes penetration of those necessities easier. When fertilization and aeration are done together, they’re highly effective.
3. Do a Final Fall Mowing
In the fall, it’s still important to keep your grass not too high and not too short. Lawn-care experts typically recommend that you set your mower’s blades about half an inch below their summer setting. If your lawn mower also mulches, you can leave the clippings on the lawn, where they’ll function as an inexpensive fertilizer (we recommend this in addition to a pre-winter fertilizer, not instead of one).
Keeping your grass from getting too high in the fall can also benefit your home itself. As the weather gets colder, insects and mice will seek taller grass for shelter. This may bring them closer to the house, where they might find a way inside, presenting you with an unwanted pest problem to deal with.
4. Remove Leaves and Debris
Not too many people enjoy raking leaves, especially when they have to do it more than once during the season, which is typical, but it’s important for the health of your lawn. Leaves trap moisture and block sunlight from reaching the grass beneath them. This can kill the grass, and if you let the leaves sit all winter, you may find a serious mold problem when the snow melts in spring. Likewise, remove larger debris such as fallen tree branches that won’t decay quickly. This type of debris also traps moisture and can promote the growth of mold and other disease-causing organisms.
5. Call AAA Lawn Care
If you don’t have the time, equipment, or the desire to do all of these things on your own, AAA Lawn Care can take care of all your lawn needs for you at an affordable rate and with professional precision.
Enjoy your fall weekends doing what you’d prefer to be doing, and leave your lawn care to the pros. Get an estimate today!