Introduction to Winterizing your Yard
- Have you ever wondered why some yards on your street stay green in the winter and some do not? Do I need to winterize my lawn? What will I need to winterize my yard?
- The answer is simpler than you think: we’re not spending enough time or effort understanding the changing needs of the grass roots over the winter months. Or if we need to winterize our yard or not.
- In this article we are going to cover the different strategies you can deploy to prepare your grass for the winter. So that it stays healthy and ready to grow in the coming spring.
- We will focus on finding out if you need to worry about winterizing or not. Does your yard need to have more potassium or nitrogen in the top soil or not? I will explain all that in this article.
- So stick around to find out the professional fertilizer hacks I learned,that keeps your grass green until this first freeze of winter without using chemical fertilizers!
How do I know if I need to Winterize
- First thing your going to want to do is Conduct a soil test. This will establish if your top soil needs potassium or nitrogen or none at all.
- There are many types of kits on the market this is the kit we used and it works quite well. You will need to test several different areas in your yard to get the best results. You will get different results but that is why you test multiple areas.
- After you get your results then you will know where you stand and how to proceed.
- If you fertilized your yard over the spring and summer then you will be in good shape going into winter. During the spring and summer the grass is sending all of its energy to the grass blades themselves. The roots are not actively growing during this time. But what happens because of this is the grass depletes the potassium and nitrogen from your soil.
- I like to fertilize if using a chemical granule type fertilizer, in the spring after the first week of 65 degree temperature, and again every 45 days.
- By fertilizing in spring and summer months your are maintaining the levels of potassium and nitrogen in the topsoil. So you will get a green thick healthy yard. And will not have to worry about winterizing going into the fall.
- But I learned over the years that fertilizing with peat moss really puts the crowning touch on any healthy yard. Peat moss is the best organic material you can use for your yard and flower beds. Peat moss helps with water adsorption, and is a long lasting fertilizer. Just apply going into spring and again in mid summer and once more before winter.
- When the grass switches to sending all its energy to the roots for winter. It also improves your topsoil for long periods of time which leads to a healthy long last disease free yard.
- Chemical fertilizers can all so get your soil in shape but you are not adding any long lasting nutrients, you will need to reapply ever six weeks. Also if you have any drastic changes in weather patterns your soil may not have the nutrients needed to keep you yard from going dormant or possibly dieing.
- With peat moss you do not ever have to worry about burning you grass, it is organic and safe for all plants and grasses.
What kind of grass do I have
- Cool-season grasses:fescue and bluegrass have their peak growing season in the fall. And will need more potassium going into fall which is when you would use a winterizer. These grasses mostly grow in the central and northern parts of the United States.
- Warm-Season Grasses; Bermuda,zoysia, centipede and St. Augustine are warm-season grasses(need potassium). It should be applied during spring and summer not in the fall.
- Theses grasses go dormant in the winter and are mostly found in southern parts of the United States. (warmer climates)
- Pacific Northwest: turf-type fescues and perennial ryegrasses. Have a lighter, meadow green color when grown on fertile topsoils (some newer varieties are darker than others). Their peak growing season is in the fall and will need more potassium and nitrogen.
What kind of Winterizer do i need
- Chemical fertilizers are what I would recommend you use. Now they do not improve your topsoil this is why I use peat moss going into winter for all my yards. It improves the over all health of the yard.
- In Fact its the most mineral rich organic stuff you can get your hands on. I have had spots in yards in the dead of summer where the grass died from animal urine. And I cut out the dead grass and put down grass seed then packed peat moss around and on top of the seeds. In a week it was filled in with grass like nothing ever happen.
- Just read what your soil test is telling you. You will need potassium or nitrogen. Scotts Turf Builder Fall Weed & FEED Winterguard has list on the back of the bag that list its contents. I also like how it will take care of commonly found weeds as well.
What should I do
- Well if you want the best looking yard in your neighborhood! Then you need to fertilize in the spring and early summer. Invest in a spreader, you can find them for $20.00.
- Also to get the best results go with Scotts Turf Builder Fall Weed & FEED Winterguard I love it and it’s safe around kids and pets, as long as they do not eat it.
- Also start a compost pile in the corner of your yard. It’s cheaper to make your own organic material then to buy it.
- I only compost soft material and mix in with some peat moss for good measure. At the end of summer I’ll shovel it out in the yard in thin layers. Your yard will love you for it, you will see.
Applying Peat Moss
- First you want to cut your grass so that the Peat Moss and topsoil can get to ground level easier.
- Then star in the front of the yard with your topsoil if needed ( I like to add a little every year because it will wash away with watering). If no top soil then just start with the Peat Moss.
- Spread by hand making sure to break up the big clumps and make sure it is evenly spread throughout the yard.
- You can put it in your flower beds as well it will help your plants as well.
- The brand does not matter just make sure it is Sphagnum peat moss.
- Water it into the yard making sure there are know large clumps left in the yard. Sometimes there are little sticks in the bag of peat moss that will end up in the yard which is ok but I like to remove them for because it looks better to me.
- After you water in in and remove any debris from the yard you are done.
- Peat moss will also help brake up clay in the soil which in the Pacific Northwest is a problem.
- Ideal for seeding new lawns, restoring lawns, planting trees or shrubs and as a soil amendment.
Thank you reading this article I hope it has helped you. Please share it with your friends and come back to Lawn Passion.com