Dealing with lawn care in the winter is a nominal price to pay for the deliverance from heavy snowfall. While folks in Michigan may not have to worry about their lawn care during their shivery winter months, we Texans are blessed with a winter season that doesn’t preclude us from stepping outside. In fact, it’s possible for us to take a dip in Barton Springs in January if we so choose. The trade-off is that our Round Rock lawns will still require maintenance, and we might still need to mow our Pflugerville lawns (though, it’s more relaxed).
How To Winterize Your Austin Lawn (AKA Winter is Coming)
Fall is one of the most important seasons for overall lawn excellence. It’s the best time to prepare your lawn to emerge lush and green the following Spring. In preparation of Winter, we recommend aeration, overseeding, fertilization, and leaf removal. We’ve written before on this, and you should check out our fall lawn care post for more details. It’s especially important that you apply a winterizer fertilizer that is high in phosphorous to strengthen your roots. The package should make it obvious, but if not, you can ask a lawn care expert at your favorite supply store, and they’ll hook you up.
Winter Lawn Care: Texas Style
Winter kill is the loss of plants in the winter time, either due to low temperature, desiccation (damage due to dryness), disease damage, or insect damage. These problems, though common in Texas especially during droughts, are all avoidable with the right strategy.
Most of the time, desiccation is the number one reason for winter kill. The last few years in Texas were especially bad because of the restrictions on watering (read our post about Austin water restrictions here.)
But pardon concerns of restrictions for a moment. In general, in the winter, you should water your lawn if it’s been a few weeks without rain. Especially if your lawn is looking dull and weak, quenching its thirst can only help.
Texas A&M’s East Texas Garden page recommends watering your lawn first thing in the morning, “first, because there is less evaporation and second, because it gives your lawn a chance to dry before nightfall, which helps prevent diseases. Watering slowly, deeply and infrequently will encourage deep root growth.”
In addition to watering, some experts recommend adding products to your lawn, like a bio-stimulant with micro-nutrients. As Real Green Lawns says, “the bio-stimulant increases microbial activity, building healthy soil, along with micro-nutrients. This will give similar results as top dressing with compost, without the risk of bringing in disease, insects and weeds.”