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What about my Lawn During the Winter? - Dormant Lawn Care Tips

By DoMyOwn staff

In this video, we'll discuss some winter lawn care tips to keep your lawn healthy leading into spring.

 What about my Lawn During the Winter?  - Dormant Lawn Care Tips Video Play

Video Transcript

So what about your lawn during the winter? We want to make sure that you have a healthy lawn going into the winter months and throughout the dormancy period.

Hi, I'm Amber with I'm here to talk to you about some of the main questions we're getting right now about what to do in your lawn and what other steps you take to make sure you are healthy going into the spring.

Right now, a lot of people are asking if they can put a pre emergent down in the winter. But in the winter months, normally you're past the point of effectively getting the chemical down to really do the work that you're wanting it to do. There are specific times during the year that pre-emergents are going to be most effective: spring and fall.

While you can put a pre emergent down now in the winter months, you really aren't going to see much control as any weed cycles are not going to happen until later when that pre emergent may have already broken down at that point or earlier in the season when you really needed it to get down ahead of that germination cycle. 

We get a lot of calls about post emergent herbicide this time of year. You have dormant lawns and winter weeds popping up and they can often be unsightly. For most of the country, there's really not much you can do. Post emergent herbicides really need to put down when soil temperatures are 55 degrees or higher and the weeds are in an actively growing state.

A lot of you will say - but they look like they are actively growing now. For regions like Florida, Louisiana, California, and even some southern parts of Texas, you're absolutely correct. Your lawn can look dormant and still have weeds growing right now. But since soil temperatures play such a big role in how the plant absorbs the chemical you are putting on it, the fluctuations of temperatures can really effect the way that chemical performs.

You can try using a post emergent with things like a 2-4-D Ester formulation or some other herbicides on the market that are labeled to be used in cooler temperatures. Just know, spotty results and slower uptake can be expected. You may not see results right away or you may not see results as quickly as you normally would when using that herbicide in the summer months or fall months or you may not see results at all depending on where you are located and the specific weed species that you're targeting.

Fertilizers come up a lot. Can I use them now? My yard's dormant. What's going to be best for winter risers or getting my yard ready for spring? Many yards may be able to take a fertilizer down in the fall and winter months and even leading up into early spring. But what you wanna keep in mind is low nitrogen or no nitrogen at all needs to be put down. You can always use fertilizers that have a higher Phosphorus or Potassium because those are ingredients that the lawn can typically absorb still even during those cooler months when it's less active and there's less energy being produced by the plants.

Nitrogen is not something that you're gonna need unless the lawn is actually growing. Also keep in mind excess Nitrogen during the winter months can cause fungal diseases to grow and pop up in your lawn in the spring-  and nobody wants that. So let's keep Nitrogen out of the mix and only use the fertilizers if we really have to in the winter months and then focus on the spring months when it's starting to come out of dormancy.

Fungicides are something that can honestly be used kind of year round. They are always gonna work better on a preventative basis. If youre someone who is maybe wondering - did I put my Nitrogen fertilizer down a little too late in the season? If you're worried about that, definitely look into using some fungicides this winter or early Spring to make sure you're getting well ahead of any spores that may be starting to be created in the lawn. 

The spores can lay dormant for a while, but once those soil temperatures start warming, the humidity starts rising, and all the other factors that go along with Spring and your turf greening up, you want to make sure you have something laying in wait to stop any of those spores in their tracks.

What about mowing your lawn in the winter? Now, normally most turfs are dormant and not growing and really are not going to require a mowing unless you live in some of the Northern regions where you have a cool season lawn that may continue to provide a little bit of growth before the snow hits.

Be sure when you're mowing for the last couple of times of the year, that you leave your lawn height a little bit higher. This just helps to make sure that it's going to be strong and withstand anything that mother nature tends to throw at it.

You also wanna make sure when you are getting to the point where your lawn is dormant, things are getting frozen, having freezing temperatures in general on the turf, that you walk on it as little as possible. Walking on the turf when it's frozen can absolutely damage it, it could break it in places, it could just cause a lot of unsightly spots, and you want to make sure you don't do any unnecessary damage.

What can I do in my lawn in the winter months? Well, there's a few things you can do to really get it ready for the spring. One of those being - Lime. A lot of customers are going to want to look to put down lime or need to put down lime depending on what their soil pH levels are and just how their turf responds in general. Having the ideal pH level of your soil is gonna help your lawn all around all year long.

It's gonna help it be healthy and make sure it's taking up every bit of fertilizer that you're putting down, because you definitely want to make sure that your efforts aren't being wasted.

Some other things you can do is get a soil test done. Getting your soil test done is normally gonna take a few weeks to get those results back during the winter is a great way to get ahead for the spring. You'll know exactly what is going on in your lawn and be better prepared for how you can treat it and what products to put down to benefit you the most.

If your lawn's hibernating, you should be too. If you liked this video, don't forget to hit that like button, subscribe to our channel, and check out our other DIY and how-to videos.