Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.
Traditional ice melt salts can runoff and damage turf when ice melts off sidewalks and driveways. Generally, any products labeled as pet friendly are often safer to use around your lawn. Whatever product you choose, use the minimum amount of product for the desired result, and try to keep as far away from your grass as possible.
Frozen lawns are very fragile. Keep traffic to a minimum, since the grass blades can break off. Walking on snow covered lawns can compact the snow and cause similar damage to heavy wet leaves left on lawns.
Clean Up Lawn Before Frost or Snow
Clearing your lawn of all debris, especially leaves, is really important before possible ice or snow. Leaves can trap moisture and foster fungi growth, as well as blocking light and inhibiting airflow. Letting leaves build up can brown and damage grass.
Service Your Lawn Mower and Lawn Equipment
Since your lawn mower and other equipment won't be getting much use, it's the perfect time to make sure it is properly serviced and stored for use in the spring. Sharpening the mower blade, draining any leftover fuel, etc, are important steps in maintaining these tools for optimal performance.
Soil Test Now
Taking a soil test in December will allow you to prepare for the coming season by knowing exactly what your soil needs in the growing season. The ground will likely not be frozen yet, either, which will make it easier to take the soil samples.
Prune or Relocate Dormant Shrubs & Trees
January is a good time to prune or relocate dormant shrubs and trees; you will risk less injury to plants at this time than at others.
Apply dormant spray to deciduous plants to control harmful overwintering insects.
Buy Equipment During Off-Season Sales
If you need new lawn or pest control equipment, like pump sprayers or fertilizer spreaders, it's a good idea to look for them now, when potential off-season sales can save you money.
This is a good time to do any necessary maintenance on your lawn mower and other lawn care equipment to make sure it is in proper working order before spring arrives.
Get a Soil Test Done
As long as your soil isn't frozen, collecting soil samples for a soil test in January can help prepare you for anything your soil may need once temperatures begin to warm up. That way, your lawn will get exactly what it needs as soon as possible.
Prepare for the growing season by sharpening mower blades. This will ensure even cuts and healthy grass when you begin mowing your lawn more frequently.
Use Ice Melt Products Carefully
You might still be experiencing icy conditions; make sure to keep all ice melting products off your lawn to avoid damage, and never use fertilizer or other products for melting ice on sidewalks or driveways.
Continue to clean up leaves and other debris off your turf. Leaf cover inhibits air circulation, blocks sunlight, and traps moisture. A clear lawn will also make it easier to apply fertilizer or other lawn products.
Keep Off Frozen Lawn
If your lawn is still frozen, avoid walking on it. Walking on frozen grass can break blades and cause surface damage to your turf.
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