The Farmer’s Almanac predicts “above-normal” precipitation in Maryland which means that the region will have a “cold-and-snowy” winter. Whether you believe these predictions or not, it’s important to prepare your lawn for cooler temperatures because a great, green lawn starts in the fall. Winterizing your lawn in the fall will help your lawn green up faster and healthier next spring.
Follow these tips to winterize your lawn for a fast and healthy green up next spring:
- Rake leaves and clean up debris. Leaves and debris on the lawn can smother grass plants killing them and creating bare areas in the lawn. Snow mold created by long periods of snow cover can creep into your lawn faster under leaves and sticks where some heat is generated underneath the snow. Also the debris from chopping them up with the mower can create excess thatch causing extensive root damage.
- Cut at the correct height. In order to lessen the changes of snow mold damage, mow your lawn until it stops growing in late fall, and mow to around 2.5 inches. The grass needs to be healthy throughout the fall season for proper root development to occur. A grass plant mowed too short will direct all of its energy to re-growing instead of producing more roots for the next season.
- Seed bare areas. Sow seeds in the fall so roots develop all winter, ensuring a healthy, mature growth the following season.
- Keep weeds at bay. Certain broadleaf weeds germinate in the fall and grow during the winter. If these weeds are removed from the turf in fall, they will not interfere with the grass and root development over winter.
- Cover flower beds. You can preserve annuals in your beds by covering them with garden fabric through the first few frost/cold spells. This allows blooms to last longer into the season. After a killing frost, pull up dead annuals and discard in a compost pile.
- Bring small plants indoors. Don’t let your favored potted plants succumb to the first frost. Bring them in so they can transition to an indoor environment for the winter. Plants like Begonias, Fuchsia, Geraniums, Coleus, and many herbs can be brought back and forth from the outdoors to a sunny indoor window sill.
Whether warm and wet or cold and snowy, winter is coming. We don’t make claims that we can go up against weather and win, but we like to give our customers a fighting chance by communicating how weather may affect your lawn, trees, and shrubs. Read some of our other lawn care tips here. We’re always here to help!