The Carolinas are fortunate that, unless you live in the mountains, you probably won’t see much snow. But there is still frost and cold temperatures to contend with. Preparing your lawn for winter weather can make for an easier time come spring and keep your yard looking nice year-round. As temperatures start to dip, here are some ways you can get ready:
- Continue mowing until grass stops growing. Keep your blades high leaving grass around two to three inches in height. Don’t worry if your grass starts to turn brown – warm season grasses (Bermuda and zoysia) will go dormant in the winter. Cool season grasses (tall fescue) will stay green but stop growing as much.
- Apply fertilizer or winterizer to cool season grass. This will help to prepare it for spring. Applying fall weed preventer can keep weeds under control and prevent them from taking over.
- Know your grass. Pay attention to what type of grass you have (Bermuda, zoysia, and tall fescue are most common in the Carolinas) to know when to over-seed, fertilize, aerate, and dethatch. If you’re worried about bare patches, do your research and decide what type of grass would be best to plant and when.
- Remove leaves from the grass. While leaves can provide a layer of protection, buildup can also suffocate and kill grass. Rake up leaves and place them a compost pile (or out for collection) or mulch them with your lawnmower. Leaf cover can be good in flowerbeds to protect perennials and to enrich soil as the leaves decompose.
- Pull annuals. Once annuals have started to wilt, remove them from the flowerbed and make room for perennials. You can also look for winter shrubs and plants that are hardy in cool weather.
- Protect potted plants. Cover them in a protective plastic, move them closer to the house where they’ll stay warmer, or bring them inside.
If you have a sprinkler system, don’t forget to turn it off for the winter as well. You don’t want your lawn to become overly saturated or have the water freeze when it hits the ground. You also don’t want your pipes to freeze up. Performing regular upkeep and preventive care on your lawn throughout the year can keep it looking nice no matter the season. Do your research and stay up-to-date with how to best care for the type of grass in your yard so your lawn helps keep the neighborhood looking top notch. Kuester can help HOA communities secure quality, affordable lawn care to keep common areas looking their best.