As fall turns to winter, you may start to notice some changes in your lawn. Thinking it looks dead, and feeling like you’ve done everything right? Chances are it’s just dormant! Changes will occur again in the spring; it’s the cycle of your lawn, and we’re here to give you the lowdown on what to expect while we provide tips to help winterize your lawn.
What Is Lawn Dormancy?
Many plants and animals need dormancy as an essential part of a life cycle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the process, dormancy is the state of reduced metabolic activity adopted by many organisms under conditions of environmental stress or when such stressful conditions are likely to appear. Our customers may see their lawn enter a dormancy due to cold conditions in the winter and droughts in the summer. But fear not…while it’s natural for the lawn to enter a dormancy period, there are steps you can take to help with winter lawn care and preparing your lawn for the next stage.
Winterizing Your Trees, Shrubs and Plants
Between the ice, snow, wind, and freezing temperatures, your lawn and garden are presented with many challenges over the winter months. But it’s nothing that a little preparation and know-how can’t overcome. Also, take note that some of the tools and technology used to combat these wintry conditions can actually harm your lawn, too, if precaution isn’t taken.
Prepare For Freezing Temperatures
Don’t forget to winterize your trees! Your favorite plants, shrubs, and trees can be damaged or even killed if extremely low temperatures persist for an extended period. Maintaining a two- to four-inch layer of mulch can help protect against cold damage and allow for new growth once warmer spring temperatures move in. Also, don’t forget it’s the ideal time to shape and prune trees and shrubs
When temperatures plunge and are followed quickly by a mild spell, tree stems and trunks can crack. To prevent cracking or splitting, wrap your trees with a light-colored bark wrap prior to winter.
Avoid Winter burn (AKA-desiccation)
When plants cannot replace moisture that is lost from leaves, winter burn, also known as desiccation, occurs. This can be caused when the root zone of the plant is left uncovered with little or no snow cover and no mulch protection. When preparing trees for winter you want to start with two to four inches of mulch, make sure to water the plants during periods of winter thaw, apply an anti-desiccation film, and provide wind breaks.
To prevent winterkill, water lawns during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage, but only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees with no snow present. The best plan of attack is prevention: TruGreen’s winterization application can help your lawn maintain its health through wintry conditions.
Winterizing Your Lawn
When the winter storms bring moderate to heavy snowfall, it can make it difficult for snowplow drivers and snow blower users to see the boundaries of paved surfaces. To help prevent this damage, place brightly colored boundary markers along the edges of your paved areas. Be mindful to not use heavy metal, fence posts or other large objects to avoid creating a hazard for the snowplow operators.
Keep An Eye Out for Damage
Some ice-melting agents contain types of salt that can cause damage to plant tissues and roots. To avoid damage from ice melting agents:
- Use the least damaging agents near your lawn and landscape.
- Use agents in advised amounts.
- Avoid piling snow and slush filled with the melting agents along the edges of your lawn and garden.
TruGreen’s ice melt product is safer on vegetation and concrete. Plus, it’s the fastest de-icer available!
Winter to Spring Transition
The temperatures aren’t the only thing increasing this spring: your lawn care responsibilities go up as the season changes. Below are some things to watch out for and keep in mind during the transition.
Watch for snow mold: Extended periods of snow cover can create the perfect conditions for snow mold to develop and spread. The damage can be most severe in areas where snow had been piled or accumulated due to drift.
Get raking: Believe it or not, as soon as the snow starts melting, you should start raking. Roughing up the matted grass with a rake will improve air circulation and stimulate new grass growth.
Lower mower on first run: Once it’s time to break out the mower, lower the blades for a closer cut that first run. This can help to improve air circulation and stimulate new grass growth.
To learn more about how TruGreen can help prepare your lawn for the upcoming season, give us a call at 866.688.6722 or visit our services page.