Winterizing Your Lawn
Getting to the root of the subject
Since our warm season grasses go dormant during cold weather, now is the time to make preparations for Winter by fertilizing and aerating. The goal is to get the root system healthy.
After testing your soil to insure the proper fertilizer mixture, remember that Fall fertilizers usually have a higher potassium ratio to stimulate the root and rhizome growth. Fertilizing should be done in September or early October. Fertilizing too late in the Fall could cause damage in the event of an early frost.
Aerating in the Fall repairs your lawn after the compaction that has taken place during high traffic activities such as playing sports, gardening and just enjoying your outdoor environment. Aeration also provides valuable oxygen to your soil. A punch core aerator works well, especially in areas of heavy clay soils. This is the type of aerator that leaves small soil pellets on top of your lawn. This process opens the soil and is very beneficial when adding compost, sand or other topdressing to your lawn.
This is not the time to de-thatch your lawn. A small layer of thatch can protect roots during times of freeze and aid in retaining moisture.
If you fertilized in September, it’s time to apply a pre-emergent for the control of weeds. Pre-emergent work by keeping weed seeds from germinating during the time of grass dormancy. While not effective on weeds with an established root structure, pre-emergent can be very effective against weed seeds that have been deposited in your lawn.
Like we said last month, If you put your lawn to sleep healthy in the fall, it will wake up healthy in the Spring!