Winter lawn care can be difficult, even if you are a veteran in lawn care. Lakeland, FL tends to have warm, mild winters compared to the rest of the continental United States. The mild winter provides a break from the fast-growing summer months, giving your lawn a chance to recharge and replenish.
A healthy winter lawn will be able to resist and handle summer stressors. Take the time now to improve the overall health of your grass before spring and summer arrive.
During the winter months, core aeration should be on your list of things to accomplish. Aerating is the process of taking small plugs of soil out from all over your lawn. Foot traffic and lawn mower use compact soil over time. Compacted soil prevents the necessary items from reaching your roots, slowing the growth of your grass. Aeration allows water, nutrients, and air to penetrate the ground and nourish the root system.
Lakeland properties should have warm season grasses. Unlike cool-season grasses, warm-season grasses thrive when fertilized in winter. Winter treatments help to keep your grass green for longer. It’s best to fertilize after you aerate because it gives the roots ample access to nutrients.
If possible, its best to fertilize your lawn before any cold snap might arrive. Doing so creates a healthy root system that provides plenty of stored food that helps grass handle the different temperature changes.
Lakeland lawn mowers must stay in service all year-round. Luckily, you won’t find yourself mowing as often as you do in the summer. The general suggestion is to cut your grass every other week in the winter, but that is also dependent on the weather and climate.
You will want to keep an eye on your lawn and decide when to cut. Leaving the grass too long can causes issues because it will shade the grass, preventing sunlight and air from penetrating deep enough. You should lower your lawn mower deck to get a shorter cut without scalping it.
The arrival of winter doesn’t mean that your lawn no longer requires watering. Moisture is just as crucial in the winter months as it is in the summer. Lawns need about a ¾ inch of water every 7 to 10 days throughout winter.
In Florida, warm-season grasses, such as Bahia, St. Augustine, or Bermuda, go into a dormant stage throughout the colder months of the year. Watering throughout the winter - or lack thereof - helps your lawn decide when and if it is going to return to its healthy, green state come springtime.
If you have an irrigation system, remember to adjust it seasonally. You might experience over-watering or under-watering causing damage to your lawn without the change.
After the stress of summer, you might notice a few bare spots throughout your lawn. Overseeding is when a layer of grass seed is scattered across a lawn to ensure the grass stays green throughout the winter. To overseed bare spots, rake the spots to remove the dead grass and thatch. Then, spread the grass seed and water deeply. It’s a good idea to place some straw over the spots to stop rain or birds from taking the seeds.
Most grass types in Tampa are warm-season, but overseeding with a cooler-season grass will benefit your existing lawn. Many Lakeland homeowners find that overseeding with ryegrass creates the green lawn year-round that they desire. Ryegrass has one of the fastest seed germinations and is affordable. It is also adaptable, so you will find that it handles the sun and shade. You can plant ryegrass typically from November to December, once the weather is consistently in the low to mid-70s.
As your lawn goes dormant throughout the winter months, you get to turn your attention to keeping it alive and ready for the upcoming spring months. Your lawn mower gets less work in winter, but you still need to pay attention to the length of your grass and how often your grass needs watering.
TLC and planning will ensure your Lakeland lawn will look green throughout the long, winter months.
If you're residing in Lakeland this Winter, learn how Lakeland Lawn Care can take care of your lawn!
Photo Source: Flickr
Areas we service near Lakeland