Supporting your lawn through a harsh winter can feel like a bit of a slog sometimes. Approach your lawn and your landscaping with some clever winter-proof tricks, however, and your turf will make it through the colder months without a worry.
Implement these design ideas for your lawn during winter and your healthy green lawn will be the envy of all the neighbourhood.
Mow Your Lawn with Stripes
In winter, lawns need less frequent mowing as they are slower growing. They also need to be mowed at a higher setting to keep a larger leaf surface area to capture sunlight. With some savvy skills your mowing chores can be the difference between your lawn looking dull and boring and your lawn being the centrepiece of your yard. That savvy skill is lawn striping.
Lawn striping is very visually appealing. This look is achieved with a striping attachment on the back of the mower which pushes the all of the grass blades in the direction of the mower. By mowing strips in opposite directions the overall effect is of a striped lawn, much like professional sports fields.
Mowing a striped design into your winter lawn can breathe life into the otherwise dull yard. It is actually healthy for your lawn too, as the blades which wouldn’t usually see the light finally get the opportunity to. The best thing is that striping works best on cool season grasses, making it perfect for winter turf.
Adapting No-Grow Areas with Other Features
In many yards there are some patches where year in, year out, your lawn just will not grow. Whether it’s due to bad soil, no sunlight, or poor drainage, frail winter lawns just can’t make it in that area.
Perhaps it’s time to give up on these problem areas and replace them with an alternative. Design your lawn area to include stone, pavers, mulch, gravel, or ground cover plants in these patches.
This could be quite simple and straightforward if the problem areas are uniform, such as fence lines. If the areas are more awkwardly sized or placed you may need to enlist the keen eye of a landscape designer to come up with aesthetically pleasing ideas.
Yard Design for Maximum Winter Lawn Success
Shepherding your lawn safely through winter comes down to allowing maximum sunlight, ensuring there’s water but not too much of it, and protection from frost.
There’s some bigger-picture things you can do with your yard to help in this cause.
Firstly, when winter is on its way, trim back bordering trees and shrubs so that they’re not competing for nutrients, particularly sunlight.
Also, designing your yard to allow for breeze will help to prevent frost and its damage on your lawn.
If you’re in the enviable position of working with a blank slate you can make sure you prepare your lawn bed properly for winter lawn survival. This means ensuring proper drainage.
Prepare your lawn bed so that water will drain properly through the soil and so that excess will run off rather than pool. If your lawn is already established you can aerate problem areas – those which are compacted and damp – with a rotary hoe. Lawns with serious drainage issues may need to be ripped out and started again, or you can explore some more serious lawn drainage systems.
Products to Protect and Enhance Your Lawn
There’s products out there which will help to protect your lawn from frosts and extremely cold weather. When you’ve done as much as you can and yet the depths of winter still pose a threat to your lawn, you can use these products to get them through.
Frost shieldsare spray-on polymers which shield the grass from the weather whilst still allowing the gas exchange it needs to live. They last anywhere from 30 to 60 days and are good insurance for the really cold months.
Alternatively, if your climate isn’t that extreme but you’d like your lawn to look greener over winter, grab a turf colourant, which will help your lawn fake it ‘til it makes it. The green colouring is absorbed by the leaves and keeps them looking healthy and lush until the warmer weather kicks in.