The best thing to do when in the lawn during winter is to not do anything. Winter can be a very hard time for many plants, especially the grass that people use in their gardens. It’s cold outside and it snows often, which makes working on your garden almost impossible at some point. Plus, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might make the situation even worse than it already is. But there are several things that not only can harm your grass but also other plants around them like shrubs or trees.
Things You Should Never Do to Your Lawn in winter
If you find yourself with an overgrown lawn that has weeds sprouting everywhere then it calls for action; however, too much action will end up hurting your lawn more than helping it – unless of course, you know what to do. Some people think that cutting down all the tall grass will help their lawn grow back faster and thicker than before because it has more room. But what they don’t know is that cutting them reduces the chance for your lawn to develop a strong root system which can be beneficial on hot days when water sources tend to evaporate faster; roots help the plant retain moisture and survive longer without any irrigation.
Don’t aerate the lawn
Lawns do suffer heavy compaction over the winter from people walking on them in boots or whatever. To relieve that pressure, you can run a machine right across the top of it to take out little cores of soil so there’s more space for water to come down through, but don’t do it yet. You’ll damage too many roots if you try aerating while they’re still cold. The time to aerate your lawn is in May when it starts getting warm enough to dry out between rains. Then all those holes will let the moisture go deep into where that grass needs it.
Don’t fertilize too early
If you do any of these things when it’s still cold, when May comes around you’ll have a lush mess on your hands. Wait for the weather to turn warm and dry before doing anything else to get yourself ready for spring.
Fertilizer is a wonderful thing for the grass and soil; however, while some fertilizer does help keep grass growing green and healthy, too much can do more harm than good. Don’t fertilize until the last possible day before the ground freezes because feeding your lawn in late fall could encourage disease and insects next year. If possible, hold off on mowing or aerating as well unless absolutely necessary.
“The worst thing you can do is to slash your lawn with a mower or aerator in the fall,”
“It will cause more problems than it solves by leaving open wounds, which are entry points for insects and disease.”
Don’t walk across the grass
This may seem like common sense, but it really does damage the grass itself when you walk on it. Your shoes can damage blades of grass because they are harder than the grass, thus causing stress that leads to disease, Darke said. It’s best to go out in the early morning before the sun gets too high in order to avoid unnecessary trampling. If you have an especially difficult area where you need to get through your yard quickly, try using dirt or gravel pathways no wider than three to four feet.
Don’t leave stuff
Right now in April is when you start taking out all your summer pots and things like that, and bringing them back in for the winter. But don’t bring them right down to the ground; set them about a foot or so away from the trunk of the tree or shrub , because if there is still some winter kill on the roots under there, they’re going to push up through that pot and pop it right over.
Don’t leave pets outside
When bad weather hits, make sure that you bring your animals and plants indoors (if possible). If not, they could be at risk of accidental frostbite, drowning and other sad events like getting eaten by predators while you are away from home for extended periods of time. Pets should never be left out in the cold by themselves; there are many humane shelters available if you are unable to care for your dogs, cats or other animals (please do not “set free” an unwanted pet!).
Don’t fertilize into water
If you empty your fertilizer directly into the lake, stream or pond in your yard, this could cause serious damage to local fish and plant life; it is better to store excess fertilizer until spring (when it can be properly disposed of). If you want to spread some fertilizer over a frozen area, make sure that you use only decorative rock salt (it will help melt down ice patches without harming surrounding wildlife).
Don’t mow on snowbanks
Don’t try cutting off tall grass by going over it with your lawn mower; this will merely bend the blades of grass over and make them look bad. Instead, make sure that there is at least one inch of space between the top of your grass and any nearby snow before you attempt to cut down tall stuff. This way, you can avoid damaging your yard by accident!
Don’t fertilize along sidewalks or roadways
If you do decide to fertilize during winter (for whatever reason), do not apply fertilizer onto sidewalks or concrete surfaces which are exposed to street traffic; this could lead to serious chemical burns on anyone who happens to walk across it without proper protection (shoes!). When in doubt, choose a safer area near your property line for applying fertilizer.
Don’t use salt on concrete surfaces during winter
Don’t use rock salt on concrete surfaces when snow is in the forecast; this could lead to severe, irreversible damage to your driveway or sidewalk over time (rock salt can also corrode metal and other materials). You should store any excess rock salt until springtime, where you can apply it with a shovel for better results if needed.
Don’t fertilize before rain is expected
When chemicals get wet, they become less effective – which means that applying fertilizer at the wrong time will not help your lawn grow! To avoid waste, wait until there is a little bit of precipitation in the forecast before fertilizing again to allow natural processes to complete the chemical reactions without the risk of reduced performance.
Therefore, by being aware of these potential problems, you should be able to enjoy your yard all year round with very little effort or expense. Now that you know the basics, I’d like you to do some research and find out about other possible hazards that may exist in your area. By learning about as many of these issues as you can, you should be able to maintain a healthy and happy yard no matter what the weather does.