Winter is knocking at the door, and homeowners in Atlanta know that it’s the time of year to prepare their lawns for the colder months. Winterizing your lawn might seem like a simple task, but it’s easy to make mistakes that could cause harm to your turf, leading to unhealthy grass and a lackluster yard come springtime. Here at NG Turf, a leading sod farm providing quality turf for the greater Atlanta area, we’ve assembled a list of five common mistakes you’ll want to steer clear of as you winterize your lawn.
1. Cutting Your Grass Too Short
Many people believe that a shorter lawn equals less maintenance during winter. While it’s true you won’t be mowing your lawn as frequently, cutting it too short can expose the root system to cold temperatures and dry conditions. We recommend leaving your grass at a height of 2.5 to 3 inches. This not only protects the roots but also allows for better moisture retention.
2. Neglecting to Fertilize
Fertilizing in the late fall might seem counterintuitive, but this is actually a crucial step in preparing your lawn for winter. Your grass needs the nutrients to withstand the colder months and come back stronger in the spring. When selecting a fertilizer, opt for a slow-release, granular formula. Make sure to consult the experts on the type that’s best suited for your specific turf.
3. Skipping Aeration
Soil compaction is a common issue in lawns, especially those that see a lot of foot traffic. Compacted soil prevents water and nutrients from reaching the roots of your grass. Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate down to the roots. Doing this before winter sets in will give your grass a better chance of thriving come spring.
4. Overwatering or Underwatering
Both overwatering and underwatering can lead to problems. While it’s easy to assume that your grass doesn’t need water because it’s going dormant, remember that roots still require moisture to survive. Conversely, overwatering can lead to disease and weak roots. The rule of thumb is to provide one inch of water per week, including rainfall, unless you’re experiencing unusually dry or wet conditions.
5. Ignoring Lawn Equipment Maintenance
Winter is also the perfect time to give some TLC to your lawn equipment. Clean and sharpen mower blades, change oil, and make necessary repairs or replacements. This not only prolongs the life of your tools but ensures that you’re ready to hit the ground running when spring arrives.
Winterizing your lawn properly is essential for a lush, green turf come springtime. By avoiding these common mistakes, you set the stage for a healthy and robust lawn that not only enhances the aesthetic value of your home but also provides a great space for outdoor activities.