How to Manage Winter Lawns

Winter isn’t always a break from lawn care, often times depending on where you live in the United States. Generally, lawn care comes down to the three needs, keeping your grass protected, short, and fed.
In between snows, make sure you pick up any branches your lawn might have, and leave the leaves as long as they’re not piling up. Mow them up to spread them around as they will act as a good mulch to protect and nourish the lawn.

Dormant lawns

If your lawn is brown in the winter, it means it’s dormant, and not growing. It’s best to keep this type of lawn short and let the earth water it. Don’t waste your time trying to water your dormant grass. You will essentially be preventing any diseases and pests that could benefit from dead blades of grass. Dormant laws are low maintenance; just do your best to protect it from debris, people walking on it, road salt, and anything else that could bother it while it sleeps.

Active growing lawns

If your lawn is somehow still growing green grass, then it’s obviously still growing. If you have over seeded your lawn with a cool-season lawn like Kentucky bluegrass, then water it regularly. Pretty much water it as needed to keep it green.  If you don’t want to tend to it, there’s always the option of letting it go brown. This is a good option if you want to save water, and don’t feel like mowing.

Fertilizing is only needed when you live in the southern states where it’s usually warm. Only feed them during winter, before it frosts over. Pull what weeds you can find, and spray herbicide in late winter.

Any lawns

These tips help, but leaving your lawn alone doesn’t hurt either. Here’s what you don’t want to do.

Do not let heavy foot traffic stamp down your lawn. This will smash the roots leaving them little room to grow. Never allow branches, toys, or objects to sit idle on your lawn as it looks bad, and the shadows create dead spots. Never salt your lawn. The ice melting salt is harmful to grass. Piles of leaves invite pests and diseases that could severely harm the grass. Don’t overwater.

Plan for next year

The yard might look bad now, but come spring you will want it looking fresh and lively. If there are certain spots of your yard you don’t like, maybe build a little garden to cover it up. Add drains if there are certain areas that puddle easily after rain. Build a deck, a sidewalk, or something to give your yard a bit more. 

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