Seasonal Lawn Care: Part IV – Winter

(Courtesy: Bill Jarvis)

(Courtesy: Bill Jarvis)

When the winter temperature gets blistering cold we can turn up the thermostat in our homes and enjoy a cozy environment. Your lawn, however, doesn’t have the luxury. It’s winter and that means temps below freezing and maybe even below zero and snow, lots of snow depending on what region of the country you live.

No doubt, your lawn is getting tormented. Some of you may believe that there is nothing you can do to maintain your lawn in the harsh conditions of winter. But, actually, there are.

Here are some things you can do before and when the snow starts to appear.

· Clean the lawn of debris. Clean off the leaves, twigs, and other trash that might be on the lawn because they can stifle the grass and could cause diseases and encourage bugs, mice and other pests to come.
· Lower the height of your mower. The last couple of times you mow your lawn before the harsh winter sets in, set the mower at .5-inch to 1.0-inch. Grass that is too long can smother itself and become the source of disease and be more susceptible to harm caused by freezing and thawing. However, you want to be sure not to cut the grass too short. That would endanger the grass to harsh situations as well.
· Try to limit traffic on the lawn. When the grass is covered by snow or exposed to the cold heavy traffic could cause it to compact and make it slower to green.
· Observe the weather. Although grass is resilient and tolerates some winter conditions, it can be damaged in the long run. Chip away any ice when you know that a storm or freeze may be coming.

A blanket of just snow on the lawn may actually be beneficial, or at least not harmful. However, ice is another thing. The longer ice remains and the deeper it gets, the better chance of damage to your lawn. Moreover, the problem is compounded when the ice thaws and then re-freezes.

Lawn care experts who have worked on golf courses have used ice chippers, sledgehammers and snow blowers to get rid of ice on greens. They warn that the process could take days to get all the ice out.

Since you will not be using the lawn mower, hose and sprinkler during the winter, you will want to prepare to store them safely.

Before storing the mower away in a cool and dry area and covering it to keep it clean, you need to empty the fuel tank, remove the spark plugs, add a tablespoon of oil to the crankcase through the spark plug hole, distribute the oil by turning the engine over with the pull-cord a couple of times, re-install the spark plugs but don’t connect the wire, clean the engine housing, and then check the condition of the mower blade and replace or sharpen it if necessary.

To ensure against damage to the hose and sprinkler, drain both and hang them to dry. Coil the hose and store indoors to prevent it from cracking or splitting.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.