Maintaining a healthy lawn requires year-round attention and care. While winter may seem like a time when you can give your lawn (and your back) a break, there are actually several winter lawn care steps you can take to help ensure a lush, green lawn come spring and a drought-tolerant and hardly lawn come summer, especially if you want to beat the neighbors. Here are some tips on what you can do in the winter to help your lawn be healthier in the spring and summer.

Keep The Lawn Clear of Debris

One of the easiest winter lawn care steps you can take to help your lawn in the winter is to keep it clear of debris such as leaves, branches, and other debris. Not only can this debris smother and damage the grass, but it can also create a breeding ground for pests and diseases that can harm your lawn. Tarps, toys, or other non-native items often are left all winter only to show dead grass patches come spring.

Winter Lawn Watering - Everything Exterior
Lawn Aeration - Everything Exterior

Aerate The Soil

Aerating your lawn in the winter can help to reduce soil compaction, which can impede the growth of roots and limit the flow of air, water, and nutrients to the grass. Aerating involves creating small holes in the soil to allow air and water to penetrate more deeply into the soil, which can improve root growth and overall lawn health. You can rent an aerator or hire a professional lawn care company to do this for you.

Limit Foot Traffic

During the winter months, it is best to limit foot traffic on your lawn as much as possible. The grass is dormant during this time, and foot traffic can cause damage to the grass blades and roots. If you must walk on your lawn, try to use a designated path or walkway to prevent damage to the grass.

Seed Bare Patches

If you notice any bare or thin patches in your lawn, the winter is a great time to seed them. By seeding in the winter, you give the grass plenty of time to establish itself before the hot and dry conditions of summer arrive. Look for a high-quality grass seed that is appropriate for your region and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. Grass seed will not sprout before temperatures allow, but seeding before this occurs makes sure that you don’t miss the perfect window of opportunity.

Fertilize The Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn in the winter can help to promote healthy growth and development in the spring and summer, especially with a good slow release fertilizer. The nutrients from the fertilizer will be absorbed by the grass roots and stored in the grass blades, giving your lawn a head start when it comes to growth and greening up in the spring. Look for a slow-release fertilizer that will provide nutrients to your lawn over an extended period of time.

Water The Lawn As Needed

While you may not need to water your lawn as frequently in the winter as you do in the summer, it is still important to give your lawn a good drink of water every now and then. If there has been a long period without rain or snow, your lawn may start to dry out, and this can lead to damage and stress on the grass. Watering your lawn once a month should be sufficient during the winter months. Make sure to do it in the late morning to allow the surface water to dry before the cooler night temperatures hit.

Cut The Grass Shorter

During the winter, you should cut your grass a little shorter than you would in the spring and summer. This can help to prevent the grass from matting down and developing disease in wet or snowy weather. However, you should still avoid cutting your grass too short, as this can damage the roots and limit their ability to absorb nutrients and water.

Lawn Fertilization - Everything Exterior
Lawn In Winter - Everything Exterior

Remove Snow From The Lawn

If you live in an area that receives heavy snowfall, it is important to remove snow from your lawn to prevent damage to the grass. Snow can weigh down and smother the grass, and the weight of the snow can also cause soil compaction. Use a snow blower or shovel to clear the snow from your lawn and be sure to do it as soon as possible after the snowfall. This will for sure get a rise out of the neighbors but come July you’ll be getting the last laugh.

In conclusion, taking care of your lawn in the winter can be that added boost that gets your lawn to the next level or helps you dominate the neighborhood. While the items on this list are not required, each will provide benefits in the upcoming year. As always, feel free to reach out with any comments or questions.