We know a little bit about lawns, and we know a little bit about lawn-obsessives such as ourselves: We spend a lot of time paying attention to our yards. That makes Winter a bit of a bummer, especially compared to all the fertilizing, watering and mowing that occurs during longer seasons: There’s not enough to do!
Many people—those who consider grass a bit less of a hobby—might not realize that there are many things that you should do during the winter if you want to see a nice, lush lawn come Spring. Even if there’s snow on the ground, there are things to know and things to do.
Here are Hancock’s tips for making sure everything comes up green when the weather warms up!
01) Give Your Lawn The Occasional Once-Over
If you live in a region where the trees drop their leaves during the Fall, hopefully you’ve already gone about raking up these colorful deposits! If you leave leaves around to become damp with condensation and humidity, you will just be fostering a place for moss and other unwanteds to grow during the cold season.
Even if you have taken care of raking for the season, don’t think that you’re done yet. Winds and other elements can easily lead to debris ending up on your lawn. We don’t just means twigs and leaves...we mean large branches. These heavy limbs will weigh down on your grass throughout the winter, resulting in a big brown patch in March/April. If you see such debris on your lawn (or forgotten children’s toys, etc.), pick them up!
This is the only step on this list that can’t be done once the snow falls, so make sure to take care of it before the weather truly chills out!
02) Avoid Walking On It!
Don’t set up caution tape around your lawn: Grass is a resilient family of plants, and it will do just fine with a bit of trodding. Don’t let fear stop you from playing with the kids outdoors.
One issue is amplified following a snow, however: the creation of frequented paths. Homeowners will often beat down a path on the way to the mailbox or street—after all, it’s much easier than forging a new path through the snow every day. This habit takes a toll on the lawn, however, and can beat your grass brown.
The simple fix is to take the long way around...after all, that’s what the sidewalk up to your door is designed for! Of course, if you want to use the sidewalk and driveway you’ll need to…
03) Salt Your Sidewalks and Driveway (The Right Way)
This isn’t news to most of you, and most readers are also aware standard rock salt can eat away at the paint on your car if not cleaned off. But did you know it can also kill your lawn?
Too much salt is certainly bad for human health, and the same is true for lawns. If you use rock salt to clear your sidewalks and driveway, read the label for application instructions...and stick to them! Over-salt and you’ll have an ugly brown line tracing the border of your property’s concrete in Spring.
If you want to avoid salts altogether, there are methods of melting ice that are much more turf-friendly. Calcium Magnesium Acetate is an option that’s become popular across the last decade.
04) Don’t Plant on Snow!
Let’s clarify: Snow is not bad for your turf. No one should be plowing their lawns (that would be a huge violation of Tip no. 2 from this post). In fact, a few inches of snow actually helps you out, because it offers a bit of winter hydration for your grass.
Unfortunately, this logic has misled some people into believing that distributing grass seed on top of snow is a great planting method. It isn’t!
When the snow melts, it will distribute the seeds unevenly across your yard, creating patchy spots of green at best. At worst, the roots will fail to take hold at all and your lawn will be a lost cause. That’s a waste of seed, and cash!