How to prepare your lawn for winter?
It is in the fall that we tend to maintain our lawn to prepare it for the harsh winter months in Quebec. This season comes just after the summer drought and before the freezing temperatures, so it’s the perfect time to repair any damage and prepare your lawn to ensure it survives the long Canadian winter season (December to February/March).
In this article, we give you some expert advice and detail the essential steps to follow in order to optimize the maintenance of your lawn.
Steps to follow to properly prepare your lawn for winter
1. Soil analysis
It is recommended that you do a soil test to determine the health of your lawn. This diagnosis will help you determine how much fertilizer and lime your lawn needs. It will also tell you what kind of fertilizer you should use.
If you like to get your hands dirty and know what and how to do, you can purchase the necessary tools and do the analysis yourself. If necessary, you can also get in touch with experts to simplify the treatment of your lawn.
2. Lawn repair
The softness and humidity of fall help the lawn regenerate and repair damage caused by drought and lack of water during the summer months. However, even if the grass does some of the work, there are a few things you need to do to improve its resistance during the winter. In the fall, fallen leaves accumulate on the lawn, making it more difficult for it to breathe. Be sure to remove dead leaves and other debris from your property. You can use a leaf blower to make this task easier.
3. Last mowing before the winter
Freshly mowed grass blades are more susceptible to disease. It is therefore important to know when to do the last mowing, which is before the first snow. So be sure to check the weather forecast regularly. It is recommended to mow the lawn at a height of about 4 cm to make it more resistant to cold and disease. Maintaining a certain height allows the grass to protect itself from frost and its roots to continue to develop.
4. Cleaning and aeration
Once you’ve mowed, the mowing residue should be removed to prevent it from accumulating on the lawn and causing moss to develop during winter. If moss has already appeared during the summer, it is recommended that you scarify the lawn with a scarifier so that it receives the correct supply of oxygen and sunlight.
If you want to have a green and lush lawn after the winter season, it is also recommended to avoid trampling during the winter months. Regular foot traffic can compact the soil, blocking airflow and water infiltration. Here are some general lawn care tips. You can also consult a lawn treatment expert who will suggest techniques adapted to the needs of your lawn.
Why lime your lawn? Lime reduces the acidity of the soil, which stimulates grass growth and reduces the appearance of moss and weeds. It also promotes the assimilation of fertilizers by the grass, which makes your lawn greener and healthier.
Liming is best done in early fall (October / November). Be sure to lime your lawn at least four weeks before fertilizing it to give the lime enough time to work its magic.
Lawn is resource intensive. It is therefore necessary to fertilize it 3-4 times a year. It is advisable to fertilize the lawn one last time before winter, about 4 to 5 weeks after liming. Fall fertilization helps protect the lawn from disease. In addition, it speeds up recovery and slows down the growth of moss during winter.
How to minimize damage to your lawn during winter?
During the winter season, rain, snow and wind can make the lawn more sensitive. Here are some tips to follow to minimize damage during this time of year:
- To preserve your lawn during the winter, avoid trampling when the ground is frozen or snowy. Footprints on frozen ground can leave yellow spots all over the lawn in the spring.
- To prevent salt damage, you can use jute or snow fences to create a physical barrier to reduce the amount of salt on your lawn.
- Winter weeding is essential if you want a perfect garden in the spring. It protects the lawn against the invasion of weeds. Make sure that you remove the weed with its root and not just the aerial part.
- Stop watering in winter since the grass is in a dormant state.
Prevention of unwanted mosquitoes
This is a step that people often forget when preparing their lawns for winter. Be sure to walk around your property and check that there is no source of standing water. Mosquitoes breed when the temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius, so if you provide them with a place to breed, you can be sure that they will come to visit you when the warmer months return.
Stagnant water sources are a problem because mosquitoes can lay their eggs in very small places. It is therefore important to check all the corners of your garden (flower pots, barrels of water, etc.). If you have a birdbath, be sure to change the water daily to prevent breeding.
- Get rid of any object, even the smallest, that can hold rainwater. Mosquitoes can deposit hundreds of eggs in small objects.
- When you empty an object full of water, be sure to wash it to remove any eggs.
- If you have fruit and vegetable plants in your garden, be sure to pick up any fallen fruit and plant debris.
- Be sure to repair any hose or faucet that has a leak
- Mow your lawn, adult mosquitoes protect themselves from the sun in tall grass
You will be grateful you took these precautions during your spring and summer evenings. If you need help preparing your lawn for winter, or need any information, please don't hesitate to contact us!