Tips for Preparing Your Lawn for Winter
Emma Bishop, Lawnstarter
Winter is quickly approaching in the state of Utah and will be here before we know it. Making sure that your lawn is prepared for its long winter nap is essential to having a lawn that bounces back in the spring. Unless you live in the southwest portion of the state, many Utah homeowners will see some snow on your lawn during winter. Here are some helpful tips for preparing your lawn for winter.
Homeowners in the Beehive state know a thing or two about mowing during the longer hot growing season of summer. Make sure to continue mowing even though the temperatures are starting to fall. Your final mowing session may require you to wear gloves and a hat but doing so will prepare your lawn well for the long winter season. Cut your grass down to about 2 inches on the final mow to keep thatch from building up underneath the coming snow.
Raking leaves up during the fall is a common fall activity but can be a double-edged sword when it comes to your lawn health. It is true that allowing the full leaves to sit on your lawn can create mold growth which can kill areas of grass. However, bagging up and taking away that precious resource is also detrimental to grass growth. Consider mulching your leaves into smaller pieces and spreading them around the lawn instead. This will allow the leaves to naturally breakdown and feed your lawn as they are naturally intended to do. Rent a leaf mulcher to do the job or consider spreading the leaves out around the lawn and mowing over them in order to cut them up into smaller pieces.
Apply Fall Fertilizer
Feeding your lawn right before the first frost arrives is a great way to allow your grass to harbor nutrients all winter long. Dormant grass will be healthier come spring if it receives a good dose of energy before the winter season. Cool season grasses, like Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue, are usually planted in Utah lawns. These types of grass will need 1 pound of nitrogen applied per 1000 square feet of lawn for ideal growth. Make sure to choose a slow release fertilizer that is heavy in phosphorus to help encourage lawn roots to grow deeper as well. Fall fertilizers are all about protecting the grass root before going into the harsh Utah winters.
Snow buildup can easily compromise the strength of trees and branches that are around your lawn. Make sure to protect your lawn by pruning delicate branches above that could end up snapping off and damaging the grass underneath. Protect your lawn by removing the smaller limbs that could easily break off due to the weight snow that are common during Utah winters. Taking care of this easy job before winter sets in could save you a bunch of time when it comes to having to remove a fallen branch after a big snowstorm.
Check Water Supplies
Utah winters are notorious for bringing a lot of snow and freezing temperatures to the state. Make sure that you aren’t caught with a frozen spigot or hose come spring when you need to water your newly greened up lawn. Winterize these areas of your home by protecting them from freezing. Unhook hoses and store them in a dry area where they won’t be damaged by fallen snow. Drain the pipes and consider hiring someone to drain your sprinkler system to ensure that no damage is done over the winter due to freezing water. Take the time to prepare your watering systems now before it becomes too late.
Preparing the outside areas of your home for the upcoming winter season using proper lawn care practices is essential for Utah homeowners. Make sure to continue mowing and consider mulching leaves to add natural energy to the soil. Applying a fall fertilizer will also help protect grass roots during winter and encourage a quick green up in spring. Pruning trees and winterizing your water systems are also important tips for preparing your lawn for winter.
Emma Bishop is a lifestyle and design writer, and mother of two beautiful girls. She is a social butterfly and loves to entertain guests at home with beautifully decorated spaces for any occasion.