Preparing Your Lawn & Landscape For Winter
Winter Preparation for Lawn & Landscapes
Why prepare your Lawn & Landscape?
As the temperatures begin to drop, the need for you to prepare your lawn and landscape for the winter becomes important. This is necessary to ensure your turf and plants can easily survive the winter. Central Illinois can experience severe cold temperatures and many inches of snow. Other areas of the country might not have the same weather, but the same preparation tips can be universally used.
Aeration & Overseeding
Over the course of a year, from mowing or traffic in general, your turf can be put through much stress. Compaction of soil, thatch buildup, and thin/bare turf areas are all possible outcomes at the end of the season. To prepare your turf for the winter and enhance spring growth, aeration and overseeding are two services we highly recommend being performed annually or bi-annually.
Aerating your lawn with a core aerator promotes vigorous root growth, helps alleviate the buildup of thatch, relieves soil compaction, allows your lawn to absorb more oxygen, and retains 50% more water and fertilizer. Aeration should be performed in the fall (September / October).
After aerating the turf, when cores of turf have been pulled up, seed can reach the soil below. Overseeding is the introduction of new seed into your turf to help fill in thin areas. It improves the turf’s health by thickening and preventing weeds to grow in thin areas. Greener color and increased disease resistance are also great benefits to overseeding.
After the leaves change color and fall to the ground, it creates a thick blanket on your lawn and landscape. Fall leaves and especially leaf piles are always fun entertainment for kids. However, if the thick blanket of leaves is left on the lawn and landscape all year, this can cause damage and disease to your turf and plants. With leaves covering the turf, they suffocate the growing grass below. Additionally, leaves can compact the soil below which hinders new spring growth the following year. We highly recommend removing the leaves covering your lawn and landscape before the snow lays its own blanket on the ground
Winterizing Your Landscape
For homeowners with irrigation systems set to water their lawn or even landscape dripline irrigation systems, winterizing becomes very important. We recommend giving all of your plants and lawn one last deep watering before winterizing. Central Illinois and surrounding areas all experience freezing temperatures during the winter. If not properly winterized, the freezing temperatures can cause major damage to your irrigation systems and lead to costly and stressful situations. Winterizing irrigation systems is not overly complicated, however there is room for error for those who do not have plumbing knowledge. We recommend hiring a licensed professional to properly set your irrigations systems up for the winter.
Mulch is a very universal tool for any landscape. During the year, mulch brings a very beautiful finished look to one’s landscape. Additionally, mulch is a weed barrier for your landscape beds. In the winter months, mulch can be used as a ‘warming blanket’ for your plants and trees. Mulch helps insulate roots during the negative temperatures. We recommend installing mulch around trees, shrubs and young plants before the winter months. By preparing your lawn and landscape for the winter months, you will have a gorgeous healthy lawn and landscape come spring.