Selling your home in winter presents a unique set of challenges. The most obvious is your landscaping and lawn. Although your lawn won't Inspire awe in the dead of winter, you can show is potential by continuing to care for it.
We asked Lawn Care Guru Tony Steine for advice on maintaining your lawn in Colorado Springs during the winter months. Here's what he had to say.
The unique winter conditions of the Centennial State can make caring for your lawn more of a timing issue than anything as homeowners try to beat the first snowfall. Although winter isn’t the prime growing season for grass, there is still plenty to do before the snow flies to ensure that your lawn bounces back next spring. Transitioning from "fall lawn care" to "winter lawn care" is easy as long as the snow hasn’t yet arrived. Check out these tips on how to care for your Colorado lawn this winter:
Refrain from raising the height of your lawn as longer grass blades can create more chance for diseases once wet spring weather appears. Cut the grass as long as the grass is still growing to keep it at an average length before winter weather arrives. If you don’t want to cut it yourself, you can hire a professional for $42 per service according to data from LawnStarter.
Once snow does appear, make sure to keep off the grass as much as possible. High traffic on dormant areas of grass can damage root systems and make it harder for those spots to recover once winter weather is gone.
Choosing to aerate your lawn in Colorado is a great way to allow essential nutrients to reach the underlying grassroots. Aeration cuts out cylinders of the soil and provides sunlight, water, and energy sources to penetrate deep underneath it. Aeration not only creates a stronger lawn but can also make the lawn healthier as roots get access to essential nutrients. Consider renting an aerator to get the job done or aerate your lawn manually using a shovel or specially designed aeration shoes. Aerate every other year to keep your yard healthy and strong.
Thatch buildup can happen to any homeowner as grassroots and debris can build up underneath a healthy lawn. Make sure to take steps to rid your lawn of thatch that could be suffocating the root system below. Consider using a dethatching rake that can help loosen the dead, mangled parts of the grass or possibly hire a lawn care company to use a power dethatcher to get the job done quickly.
Adding fertilizer to your lawn is a great way to make sure that it receives the energy that it needs to withstand a long winter and green up quickly in the spring. Choose a slow release fertilizer that you can quickly spread over the lawn in pellet form. This fertilizer will provide a steady stream of nutrients to the lawn which helps roots withstand the frigid Colorado winters. Slow release fertilizers will also give the roots enough energy come spring to boost plant growth and ensure that your lawn bounces back quickly after a long winter. Be careful to follow directions closely as too much fertilizer in one spot can burn the grass creating unsightly brown spots.
Compost can be used on the lawn or as fertilizer for your cold season plants. Use this natural energy source to support the soil that hosts the grass. Compost is an organic material that includes natural forms of vegetation that have been broken down with the help of microorganisms. It is excellent to apply to lawns in late fall or early winter as the colder temperatures allow it ample time to absorb into the soil slowly. Consider using compost from your compost bin or purchasing bags of natural compost from a local garden center.
Many homeowners still have plenty of fallen leaves on their lawns come early winter. Instead of bagging up the leaves to throw away, consider using this natural resource as energy for the lawn. Mulch leaves using a leaf mulcher, or your lawn mower, to cut them down into small pieces that will be easier to break down into the soil. Fallen leaves are a great way to naturally boost the nitrogen levels of the lawn making them a valuable resource that shouldn’t be tossed away.
After a busy summer season, many homeowners will notice that thin or bare spots of their lawn begin to emerge after too much use. Consider these high traffic areas of your lawn and add new grass seed to these areas before frost arrives. Add new seed in a thin layer of the soil and water daily to encourage quick growth. Bare areas are also a prime spot for weeds to appear due to the lack of plant competition.
Early winter is a typical time for many homeowners to see the appearance of weeds in the lawn. Cooler temperatures may slow down grass growth, but weeds can usually grow reasonably quickly despite the cooling temperatures. Make sure to apply weed control to the lawn to keep weeds away and pull any larger weeds that have gone undetected. Keeping your lawn weed free throughout the winter is essential to encourage healthy and robust growth come spring.
Caring for your lawn in the winter is essential to make sure that it can quickly bounce back once spring weather arrives. Continue maintenance as long as the grass is growing and make sure to keep off dormant grass once the frost has come. Create better lawn conditions by aerating and dethatching the lawn to allow nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil. Applying energy sources, such as fertilizer, compost, and mulch, will also help give the lawn enough nutrients to last through the winter. Also, consider tackling the bare spots and keeping weed growth down to keep the lawn strong and healthy.
Investing in your lawn during the early parts of winter is a great way to ensure you’re your lawn will continue to grow well in the future. Consider all of these tips when caring for your Colorado lawn this winter. Tony Steine has a passion for teaching others about everything in their garden. Tony will happily show you what he has done with his green thumb with a tour of his flourishing backyard. He loves spending his spare time using the fresh food from his garden to try new recipes in the kitchen.