It seems that winter has slowly arrived even if we don’t want it to. While many homeowners see the winter months in Cincinnati as the least ideal time for yard work, there are a few steps that should be taken for a healthy lawn come springtime. Caring for cool season grass types that sustain a large amount of snowfall is much different than in other parts of the country because damage can be created under the snow. These tips are extensive or costly, just simple maintenance tips that will help your lawn sustain the colder temperatures and save you money and time from having to repair or replace your lawn in the future.
Rake the lawn
One of the first steps that you will want to take is to rake the lawn. Many people believe that the lawn must be aerated but, if you don’t want to spend that extra cost, raking the lawn efficiently should be enough. Removing all of the leaves that have accumulated will prevent thatching and will help loosen the soil. You won’t want to do it too much though because you could cause dead spots. This helps prevent any debris from sitting on top of the lawn before snowfall, which could cause mold and other fungi to form.
After you’ve removed leaves and additional debris, use a winter fertilizer to help restore any nutrients that the lawn may have lost during excessive heat. You’ll want to make sure this is done before the first freeze of the winter. This will also help protect the lawn from damage and any further nutrient loss in the upcoming winter months. Keep in mind its only necessary to use a winter fertilizer on cool season grass types, which most Cincinnati homes have.
Use guide stakes
Snowfall is common when you live in Cincinnati. While there is really nothing you can do about the constant accumulation of the snow, there is something that you can do protecting the lawn from snow plow and shovel damage. Before the snow season, mark your lawn with guide stakes along the edge near sidewalks and driveways. Street snow plows should be able to guide down the street near the curbing, but if you don’t have a traditional type of curb near the street, you might want to consider putting a stake along the street as well. These stakes are available in plastic or wooden styles and should be available at your local home improvement store. This way, whether you or a hired professional are removing the snow, you’ll be able to stay clear of the lawn and prevent any potential damage.
Cool weather grass types will become dormant and stop growing when the weather becomes chillier. Although the lawn isn’t green and in the growing stage, there shouldn’t be any walking, running or playing on it. Although this may seem like a minor detail, pushing down on the dormant lawn will actually cause damage to the soil below and it won’t be able to recover as fast as it would when the grass wasn’t dormant. Parking on the grass is also not recommended, since cars will push even more weight onto the lawn. High traffic on the dormant lawn can also cause weeds to form in place of the dormant grass since new growth won’t form in the winter.
For additional information about lawn care, visit our Cincinnati lawn care page!