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Winter Preparations for your Lawn
Cutting the Grass to Prep for WinterThe first thing to remember is to keep mowing your grass until you’re sure it hasn’t grown for at least two weeks. You will know by the lack of grass clippings that your lawn is done for the year. A final grass height of two inches is optimal for several reasons. Cutting your grass too short right before winter can leave it susceptible to drying winter winds and even sun damage if there is a lack of snow cover. More than three inches can cause problems as the grass bends and folds from snow cover. This contributes to fungal diseases and mold issues. Be sure to remove as much leaf litter as possible in the fall to reduce fungal, mold, and grass rot problems as well. Also, too much grass under the winter snows create perfect habitat for mice and other rodents. It’s always annoying to find out that rodents have turned your beautiful lawn into the Holiday Inn over the winter break.
Another important step in winter preparation is the over-seeding of bare or thin spots in your lawn. By sowing grass seed in the autumn, you give the new grass a chance to establishing roots over the winter.
Fertilize Just Before Winter ArrivesIt is also a good idea to give your lawn a final fertilizing before winter sets in. This final autumn fertilization promotes root growth, which in turn encourages a speedy bounce back and a lush growth come spring. It’s recommended that you use a fertilizer with slightly higher potassium content than normal. Potassium improves cold tolerance and enhances root systems. For example, a good fertilizer that will ensure a speedy green-up in the spring is our own Slow-Release Maintenance Fertilizer, with double the potassium of our starter fertilizer. It has a nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium (or NPK) formula of 18-1-8. Not only does it provide excellent spring green-up, but it is part of a new generation of environmentally friendly fertilizers. Organically based, this fertilizer is derived from aerobically composted turkey litter, hydrolyzed feathermeal, ammonium sulfate, iron sulfate, methylene urea, sulfate of potash and sulfur coated urea; ensuring minimal impact on the non-target environment.