Winter is rapidly approaching Nashville and we want to make sure all your lawns are ready to go for the cold season. Put these items on your list this winter:
A special fertilizer is used when the weather gets colder to winterize lawns. This specific fertilizer is high in potassium and helps grass retain food and moisture throughout the cold months of winter. While blade growth stops during the winter, roots below the surface remain active which means this winterizer is vital; it ensures that the grass roots will have a stored supply of nutrients to turn to.
Remove Your Leaves
This is a point we have to stress every year. Leaves are fun and fall-ish and pretty, however they can do more damage than you know to your lawn. Layers of leaves can trap excess moisture on your lawn and cause mold and damage. Not to mention, they block sunlight and warmth from reaching your grass.
At this point in the season, you should have already aerated and over-seeded. We recommend using a leaf blower instead of a rake. Rakes can damage the seed that has been spread or any tender new growth. Not to mention, a blower takes much less time and manual labor, so it’s a lawncare win-win.
If you have an irrigation system installed (which we highly recommend!), you’ll need to empty the system! Once temperatures reach below freezing, excess water left in the pipes can damage the system and nobody wants to replace their irrigation in the spring.
Help! My Grass Died!
Grass can die, but usually the issue is that it becomes dormant. Warm-season grasses will go dormant during cold weather. It’s absolutely nothing to fret about, as it is a natural protection mechanism and will return to normal under less extreme temperatures and conditions.
This doesn’t mean you have the all-clear. There are definitely ways winter can kill your lawn, such as:
- Leaf scorch or winter burn- The cold months can severely dry out plants. Deep water during the last days of fall to soak deep into the root system.
- Frost heave- With fluctuating temperatures in Middle Tennessee, our plants are susceptible to frost heave. This happens when the ground warms enough to thaw and encourage growth and is followed by a sharp drop in temperatures. This can cause plants to be “heaved” from the soil, damaging the turf around it. Mulching after your soil freezes can keep the soil cold during these short warm periods. This insulation will only allow warming when the temperatures are consistently elevated.
- Grass breakage- This is something we see all the time in Middle Tennessee. When your lawn is covered in ice or even just heavy frost, pressure crushes the grass and causes damage to the blades. This means walking on it is a no-no. We most commonly see this damage en route from the house to the garbage can outdoors, so we recommend finding a time during daylight to take out the trash.