Winter Lawn Care 101 - Atkins Inc

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December 14 2020
Shaun Henry
Shaun Henry

Although winter technically doesn’t “begin” until Dec. 21 this year, it certainly feels like it’s here. With the occasional below freezing temps in the morning, we start to focus on our winter lawn care projects. One of our greatest concerns for our lawn this time of year is frost damage. 

Have you ever seen yellow footprints or tire tracks burned into your green lawn this time of year? 
This can happen when the temperatures are low enough to freeze the moisture inside the individual grass blades and then someone walks across or runs a piece of equipment over it. The cell walls in the grass blades are fractured, which kills the tissue causing it to desiccate (dry up and turn yellow-brown), leaving tracks behind for weeks. Typically, the damage is temporary, and depending on soil temperatures, the grass may recover and fill in the damaged area sooner than later.  If we go into a cold dry winter, the damage may last for months until the soil warms and growth resumes.

Although the remaining days in 2020 are flying by, we are still applying a winter fertilizer to lawns to help prepare them for next spring’s “green up.” The lawn winterizer application to the lawn in the late fall can help improve upon your lawn’s color and overall health as we head into the winter months. Although your grass isn’t growing now as fast as it was back in May, it is still active and developing. Proper fertility now will help with root development and next season. Water loss is at a minimum since weather has cooled down and growth has slowed, so watering your lawn isn’t necessary.  

Schedule your irrigation system winterization.
If you have an irrigation system, don’t forget to call Atkins to winterize it. Blowing the water out of your sprinkler system lines and backflow devices can save you a lot of headache and expense next spring when you try to fire it back up. There’s nothing worse than seeing water boil out of your lawn from a broken irrigation line when you’re trying to water new plants or grass. 

Leaves, leaves and more leaves!
Don’t forget to get those piles of leaves off the lawn. If left for a long period of time, the leaves will mat down and smother your turf. Mow them up or blow them off the lawn if you can. Rake them up and haul them off if you have too. Some lawns are easier to keep leaves off than others and if you are lucky, you will only need to do it once! Don’t want to do it? We can help you with that. 

Now is the time to feed your ornamental trees and shrubs.
Dormant feeding of your landscape plants will help them recover from summer stress and prepare them for putting on new growth next spring.  We can also address nutritional problems at this time by adding iron, calcium, Sulfur, magnesium, copper zinc, boron, manganese and others.  If you have any new plants, fertilizing them this fall may be a good idea to further help them get established to tolerate the extremes of next summer.  Visit our previous blog for more information about feeding your ornamental trees and shrubs.For help with winter lawn care, contact Atkins today. We’re here to make sure you have the most healthy and beautiful lawn and landscapes in your neighborhood all-year-round.

About the Author
Shaun Henry
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