Winter Sod Care
Your lawn will need some minimal care throughout Winter, to ensure a healthy and happy Spring lawn, so don’t forget about it until then!
Here are some of our best Fall and Winter lawn care tips:
- Aerate. Late Fall and early Winter are good times to aerate your lawn. This allows air, water and nutrients directly to the root level (all roots need nutrients, water AND air), and opens areas of the soil, helping ward off compaction, which can be tough on roots.
- Fertilize. Lawns become somewhat, but not fully dormant in the winter. You should fertilize BEFORE this semi-dormancy stage. This will allow the lawn to still receive much needed nutrients it can lack over winter, leading to a much healthier, happier lawn come Spring. You will also want to start fertilizing in early March. Make sure to read the full instructions, and application rates for Fall and Winter. We sell fertilizer specifically made for our climate…it’s the same kind we use at the farm!
- Clean off debris and snow. We don’t get much snow in the Southwest, however, there can be patches of snow in the shade that if left for some time, with wet debris, can smother and kill the grass underneath. Sod still needs oxygen in Winter! If snow is left to pile on grass (not common in South and Central NM, but a possibility in Northern NM) keeping it wet through an extended time, it can turn lawns pink or gray with snow mold. Spread out any large piles of snow to encourage melting.
- Keep foot traffic to a minimum. There are a few times throughout Winter, that the ground may be frozen or close to it. When we play and run on grass in these conditions, it can damage it. Keep rough foot traffic to a minimum in the cold Winter months.
- Work out soil compaction. Too much foot traffic on wet Winter grass can compact the soil, which is not a good for turf roots that work hard in Winter. Compaction can be helped by aerating. So again, keep foot traffic to a minimum in Winter.
- Reseed before the Winter sets in. Reseeding is a great thing to do in the Fall before the cold Winter temperatures. Attaining good seed germination is difficult for the common homeowner, and seed grades sold at big box stores, is not of the highest quality (ie. lower germination rates). So if you really want to do some serious seeding work, local landscape contractors can “powerseed”, which distributes seed into machine-made knife-like slits to achieve optimum seed germination. You can reseed in late Winter as well (February/March) but remember, when seeding it can take up to 18 months to have a full yard, and you may need to reseed a couple more times to get a full, lush lawn. We sell Grade 1 (the best germination rate) Scotts Premium Seed in all the same sod varieties we have.
- Get rid of pests and weeds. Fall is the perfect time to treat for weeds, dandelions, bugs, and grubs. Herbicides, pesticides (organic is better) and weed killer are good options to apply before the Winter cold arrives.
If you really want to have a superb lawn in Spring, you must care for it throughout Winter too. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.