How to save your lawn in winter: preparing it for the cold
We learn how to properly prepare your lawn for winter. Describes the process of preparation and how to restore a lawn that has already suffered.
From this article you will learn all the subtleties of properly preparing your lawn for winter. Here is a step-by-step description of this process, both for young and adults. And also disclosed in detail the issue of lawn revitalization if the lawn has been damaged by rotting or warped.
Preparing your lawn for the cold
- Using your lawn in the garden
- Major lawn problems that occur after winter
- Preparing your lawn for the winter
- Steps and process to prepare a lawn for winter
- If the lawn is still beat up
- What to do if a lawn has been damaged by fungal diseases
Using your lawn in the garden
The lawn is a typical backdrop for landscape compositions in personal and smaller promotions. In order to satisfy one’s aesthetic needs, it must necessarily be well-groomed, level and light green.
To achieve the above-mentioned appearance of the lawn it is necessary to follow the correct technology of sowing (when sowing) or laying rolls (when using lawns).
On large areas (more than 200 sq. m.) it is much more difficult to maintain the lawn in this form than on a few hundred plots. However, in any case, there are difficulties and problems. Here, the quality is affected by the difference in the surface: on large plots it is quite difficult to prepare a perfect surface without the slightest indentation. That’s why cases arise that are more exciting than on plots with small lawn cover areas.
Major lawn problems that occur after winter
The main problems of lawn greens are recesses and fungal disease infestations.
Factors that contribute to maintaining a great lawn cover include:
- Proper soil preparation;
- A good drainage system;
- Adherence to seeding or roll placement techniques;
- Ongoing and adequate care (watering, feeding, ventilation).
The location of the lawn is also of great importance:
- Lawns flare up more often in shady areas than in sunny ones. This is because the snow melts more slowly in the shade. As a result, the snow over the grass in spring is replaced during the day by night frost covered with an icy crust. This contributes to soil excavation as air exchange is hindered.
- In areas with well-prepared soil, lawns are less susceptible to caking and fungal disease damage. Lawns in such areas have enough organics and minerals to develop healthy shoots.
- Low-lying areas that accumulate water often have difficulty keeping lawns looking nice and healthy. Lawns tend to get lumpy because they don’t get any moisture. And after the winter, you may see bare patches in these areas.
Preparing your lawn for the winter
In order to ensure that the lawn has a healthy green appearance in the spring, it is necessary to approach the issue of preparing it for the winter.
- A pitchfork or special machine to aerate the lawn;
- Lawn mower, trimmer, lawn clippers;
- Fertilizer for fall grazing, which does not contain nitrogen;
- Grate to collect fallen leaves;
- Hoe, lawn grass seed, mulch (peat).
Steps and process to prepare a lawn for winter
Aeration is necessary to enrich the roots with oxygen. The process of aeration is as follows: it is necessary to make punctures in the lawn to a depth of 25-30 cm and a distance of 10 cm from each other. This promotes the healing of the roots and, consequently, the frost resistance of the lawn.
2. Mowing – around October, the last mowing at a height of 5-6 cm, in this season lawns still have time to harden for a steady frost. If this action is neglected, the large green mass will close the access of oxygen, and the lawn will be prone to warping.
3. After mowing, fertilize the lawn with phosphorus and potassium complexes. When buying fertilizer, pay attention to the nitrogen content, which should not be on the list of minerals. Nitrogen – Nitrogen fertilizers are only used in spring and summer to create green mass. Spread the fertilizer evenly, better with a special machine.
4. The next step is the frequent collection of fallen leaves. Under the snow, the lawn should be clean.
5. Repair areas damaged during the summer. Loosen the soil as deep as possible with a helicopter, seed and mulch.
After all these measures, the lawn should be beautiful and evenly green after winter.
If the lawn is still beat up
Turfing is the process of turf dying due to frost. In severe frosts, plant cells become dehydrated and the water in them freezes. When mechanically damaged, the leaves partially or completely die off. Brown patches on lawns look like brown spots on a green background. Most often such areas are observed on the edges of paths, in depressions, on bumps.
To repair patches of caked lawn, remove the leaves from the plant and loosen the soil with a pen. Then spread 1-2 cm of fertile soil and scatter the lawn seeds. Mulch. After that, water the restored areas so that the soil is constantly moist for the seeds to germinate. Watering is then reduced, and when the lawn grass has risen 10-13 cm, mowing is done. Next, the entire lawn area is cared for.
What to do if a lawn has been damaged by fungal diseases
Fungal diseases from which the lawn suffers most often after winter:
Snow mold (Fusarium nivale) – occurs more often in the fall. It looks like this: watery spots 4-6 cm in diameter, yellow-orange-brown in the middle and dark brown at the edges appear on the grass. They then increase to 25 cm. When humidity is high (fog or dew), a grayish-pink patina appears on areas affected by snow mold. This disease can also develop under a layer of snow.
Leaf spotting (DRECHSLERA POAE) – appears as small brownish spots on the leaves that increase in size and take on a reticulate, unattractive pattern. The edges of the leaves turn yellow. Infestation by the spot occurs more often in the fall or spring. The sheath and root neck are affected, then the plants die.
Root rot (Gerlachia nivalis, Fusarium spp.) – causes serious damage to the lawn. Symptoms: Wet spots on grass, yellow-brown in color. The spots rapidly increase in size. Fungal growth (white stripes) can be seen around the edges. The fungus spreads under snow. The period of infestation from fall to spring.
When it comes to fungal diseases, you can fight only with chemicals specially designed for lawns. To do this, treat the surface according to the instructions. Then follow the same steps for intensive lawn care as for curing.
Disease prevention is to mow and clean the grass in the fall, which reduces the percentage of these diseases in the spring.
A few more tips on how to keep your lawn healthy in the winter:
- Don’t walk on your lawn until frost.
- Break up the ice crust on the ice.
- Remove snow from the pathway to the lawn.
- Don’t make an ice rink on your lawn.
- Sprinkle the holes that have formed.
All of these things help maintain a beautiful lawn after the winter. If all the work to prepare for the winter will be carried out correctly, in the spring the lawn will please you with its lush bright greenery. Published by aconet.ru
If you have questions on this topic, ask the experts and readers of our project here.
Proper lawn preparation for winter
Preparing your lawn for winter is a set of activities that must be done in the fall to ensure that the area retains its decorative qualities for the next year. If you carry out the necessary work correctly and qualitatively, the quality of the lawn will improve significantly, and in the spring you will need less financial expenses for its arrangement.
What measures should be taken to ensure that the lawn did not die in the winter, and then pleased the owners of the site with its beauty?
Work to prepare the lawn for the winter
The main task of lawn care in the fall – to ensure the effective recovery of the site after winter. All work should be completed before the beginning of frosts.
Grass should be mowed less frequently in the fall and should be larger than in the summer. It is desirable to have grass within 6-7 cm before frosts, the lawn will be well ventilated and no mold will appear on it. All fallen leaves should be removed from the lawn to allow air to penetrate the soil well.
The amount of watering should also be reduced. In dry and cool weather, you should water your lawn once every 10 days, and in dry and warm weather once a week is sufficient. The closer you get to winter, the less often you should water the grass.
In addition, in order to properly prepare your lawn for winter, you need to do the following basic work:
- Push the grass out.
Ventilation and mowing.
The process of aeration will help solve 2 important problems, viz:
- Significantly improve soil drainage by diverting excess water to the deepest layers;
- Improve oxygen uptake deep within the roots of the grass.
Aeration can be done with a pitchfork, piercing the soil to a depth of 20-30 cm. How much to prick the soil with a pitchfork depends on the condition of the turf, whether it is replanted or not. If you did not go out to the lawn, it is enough to make 5-6 punctures, in the opposite case – at least 10-12.
When aerating, the lawn should be raised to a certain height. The appearance of the lawn because of this will be a little messy, but after a few days of changing the soil, it will take on a completely normal appearance. So you do not have to worry about this.
Mowing the grass before the winter is essential since this has a major effect on the safety of the lawn.
The timing of the work depends on the weather and climatic conditions specific to each region. In Siberia, lawns start mowing in late August, while residents of warmer regions treat the grass for the last time in late October or early November.
The height of grass should remain within 6-7 cm; if it is lower, the plants cannot get enough oxygen. If the grass is higher than 7 cm, it cannot overwinter and rests under the snow. It is necessary to cut the green ceiling so that it has time to grow 3-4 cm before frost.
Mechanical aeration of the grass
In autumn, the lawn should be fertilized with a fertilizer based on potassium and phosphorus.
Potassium fertilization promotes effective growth of the grass and increases its resistance to various diseases and soil dryness. For lawn plants, potassium sulfate or multi-nutrient fertilizers are most commonly used.
The use of phosphate fertilizers helps strengthen grass roots and plant growth. Usually superphosphates, bone meal, or complex compounds are used.
The best time to apply fertilizer is before it rains. If the drought lasts a long time, you do not need to fertilize the plants. If it does not rain for a long time, you can fertilize as follows:
- Water the grass well first;
- If the vegetation has dried out and the soil is still wet, fertilizer must be applied;
- Water the lawn two days after fertilizing.
Nitrogen fertilizers can also be applied, but this must be done very carefully. If too much is given, it can lead to early growth which could lead to a poor overwintering and a reduced quality of lawn for the future.
Therefore, it is better to apply nitrogen fertilizers in early fall, which act slowly. Such substances are most effective for lawns which have been subjected to long periods of summer drought.
All fertilisers should be applied evenly with a special steering wheel. The appearance of gray-brown spots on the plants indicates improper fertilizing and burns. If the plants are fertilized correctly, the grass will turn a matte green.
Cleaning and Ventilation.
An equally important measure to prepare your lawn for winter is to clean off old grass, leaves and needles. You can remove dirt from the surface with a garden broom or spring rake. The layer that needs to be removed is called felt. If you leave it unchanged, it will have the following consequences:
- Insufficient water infiltration into the soil;
- Poor ventilation for the plants;
- The formation of a fairly thick lawn;
- The occurrence of various plant diseases;
- Poor root growth.
Removal of felt helps to improve the decorative properties of the lawn, the proper growth and development of plant discs. Leaves, fallen from the trees, in the autumn should be carefully removed from the whole site, otherwise the lawn can die from lack of oxygen.
If there are flowers on the site, they should also be prepared for winter. Sick plants should be burned, and rhizomes and tubers should be dug up and put away for storage.
Lawn aeration helps to improve soil drainage, increase the plant’s resistance to dryness and lead to the formation of new roots. It is carried out with a special tool designed for this purpose with a scarifier when the soil is slightly moist.
Ventilate the lawn with an automatic lawn ventilator
Mulching and sowing
Once the lawn has been cleaned and aired out, it should be mulched.
Mulching is the spreading of soil that has been specially formulated for the type of soil, taking into account its composition. If the site is heavy soil with a lot of clay, it should be sown from 2 parts peat, 3 parts earth and 5 parts sand. If the floor is sandy, the composition should consist of 4 parts of peat, 4 parts of earth and 2 parts of sand. All these components should be thoroughly mixed and evenly scattered over the entire surface.
The beneficial effect of mulching is as follows:
- Taking evaporation of water from the ground;
- The formation of dense grass for the next year;
- Maintaining the optimum temperature of the top layer of grass on frosty days;
- Increasing plant resistance to drought, moisture, diseases and weeds;
- Soil Orientation.
In the fall, pay attention to individual areas of the lawn where there are sprouts. In such areas, the lawn should be reseeded. Sowing should be done in moist soil.
Where there are bare spots, reseed the lawn grass.
If there is diseased grass on the property, the infested area should be treated with a fungicide (Fundazol) that prevents further infestation of the plants. In addition, it also helps the lawn grass withstand frosty days.
Winter lawn care
The lawn also requires special care in winter. Of course, it is not as much work as in the fall or spring, but it is still worth paying attention to the lawn. The main tasks in winter are:
- Keep the lawn area free of stress;
- Remove ice crusts in a timely manner.
As soon as frost arrives, the lawn should not be disturbed. If there is still no snow cover, the grass is very susceptible to all kinds of damage which can lead to various diseases in the future.
But even if there is snow cover, you should not put stress on the lawn, otherwise there is a risk of it freezing. You can enter this area if the thickness of the snow cover is at least 25 cm. The best location is considered if it is covered with snow all winter. It is not necessary to clean the snow from the site, you can only remove traces.
And when it thaws, an ice crust appears on the surface of the lawn, which must be broken up and removed, as it prevents the access of oxygen to the grass. If the ice is not removed, the grass can be replaced. The crust can be rolled away with a rake. If all of the above work to prepare the lawn for winter is done, then in the spring there will be no problems with the timely restoration and arrangement. In addition, the appearance of the site will greatly improve, and it will continue to delight its owners with a magnificent green appearance.
The ice crust must be removed