Winter officially starts December 21st but we all know that it seems to arrive much sooner than that. Especially those of us who are particular about our lawn care in Atlanta, GA. The winter climate in Georgia typically calls for a fair amount of snow and the occasional ice storm. Whether or not the frost this year is intense, it’s still important that we keep up proper seasonal lawn care during the cold weather (i.e. dormant season). Keep your lawn lush, green, and beautiful come next spring with these winter lawn care tips!
Winter Lawn Care Tips
Photo: Flickr / Steven Tyler PJs
- Lawns can easily be over-watered during the winter if your sprinkler system is still calibrated for the summer growing season. Make sure to consult with your lawn care provider for a winter tailored sprinkler schedule. We however still recommend maintaining the standard one inch of water per week. Any more than that might be overkill because warm-season grasses that make up the vast majority of lawns in Georgia aren’t soaking up as much water as they did back in summer.
- Avoid allowing heavy traffic on the lawn. During the summer time this is okay because turfgrass is springy and resilient. But while grass is dormant it becomes brittle and weak, this is because grass redirects its energy to the root system during dormancy periods. Look out for heavy traffic especially in the morning when the grass is covered by the morning frost. Grass is usually more susceptible to damage in the morning because of the frost.
- Remove organic debris from covering your lawn. Organic debris includes leaves, fallen tree branches etc. Leaving too much debris on your lawn can lead to bacteria and disease, and even more so can suffocate your grass. Removing heavy buildup of grass from your lawn allows your lawn room to breathe so it can still soak up vital nutrients from the little sun that it’s receiving.
- If your winter lawn resembles more of a swamp than something pleasant to walk on, like say a golf course, then you may want to consider doing a winter sod install. Though the sod roots will be dormant and grow rather slowly this time of year, come spring time the roots will stick and take off with ease. However, you’ll need to be careful not to tear up your lawn during this period as it will be particularly sensitive.
- If you happen to be a homeowner with a Tall Fescue lawn then fall would be the best time to aerate your lawn. The reason this applies to the winter time is because Tall Fescue can still take root during the fall. And we know the best defense against weeds is a healthy lawn. A healthy winter lawn is thus less subject to invasive weeds that germinate during the winter months. Aerating your lawn involves perforating the soil with small tines that are located at the tips of an aerator. This alleviates soil compaction (which can become exponentially worse during the winter) and allows the lawn to receive optimal amounts of water, air, and nutrients.
If you have any questions about lawn care in Atlanta, GA or would like help maintaining your lawn this winter then feel free to share your thoughts and opinions below.