This past winter in Georgia has been a particularly harsh one, and you might find yourself looking at what’s left of your lawn and wondering if, after all this cold and ice, your grass will ever come back. Most of the warm-season grasses that are common in the south go dormant during periods of cold temperatures, turning brown over the winter but returning to green when the spring sun returns. However, this does not necessarily mean that the grass will survive the cold unscathed. What you do in the earliest part of the spring, when the weather is just starting to get warmer, can have a significant effect on how healthy your lawn looks in the year to come. That’s why the experts at Turf Shield have put together a basic checklist of things you can do to prepare for the spring thaw.
- Check over your push or riding lawn mower, and any additional garden tools, for signs of wear and tear. Check to see if anything needs to be repaired and sharpen your lawnmower blade
- Thoroughly rake your entire lawn to remove accumulated weeds, dead plant matter, and other assorted yard waste to clear the way for new growth.
- Prune away any broken, diseased, or dead limbs from your trees and shrubs. Fruit trees specifically should be pruned well before their buds begin to bloom to avoid overstressing the tree.
- Add additional nutrients to the soil by spreading a thin layer (about ¼ of an inch thick) of aged compost or manure.
- Loosen soil that has become dry and compacted over the winter months by aerating your lawn. This will allow oxygen, water and nutrients to easily reach grass roots.
- The southern growing season starts early, so try to plant any new flowers or vegetables as soon as temperatures permit.
- Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of all plants, trees and shrubs as well as emerging bulbs and perennials to maintain soil temperature and moisture.
- Replenish any bare patches in your lawn by loosening the surface to a depth of 2 to 4 inches and overseeding the area with a mixture of grass seed and compost or fertilizer over the bare spot.
- Hold off on most lawn fertilizers until after your first spring mowing. The decision of when to fertilize your lawn will depend on a number of different factors.
Preparing for the spring involves a lot of planning and work, but the experts at Turf Shield can help you get it all done. Our team can perform all the necessary tests to determine exactly what you need to help your lawn look its best all year round. If you need help maintaining your lawn, or would like to learn more about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we can provide, please contact Turf Shield for additional information. Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Twitter or Facebook to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.
At Turf Shield, we offer a variety of lawn and yard care services that can help keep your yard looking its best all year round, and each season poses its own individual challenges. With summer coming to a close and winter waiting eagerly in the wings, many of our clients ask us how they can best go about “winterizing” their lawns or gardens to prepare them for the colder months. Although Georgia and the Southeast may not get the severe cold and snowfall that are so common in other regions of the country, there are a few things that you can do to keep your lawn healthy and protected.
Many lawn and garden professionals will tell you that a good winterizing fertilizer treatment is the key to avoiding cold-season damage, and some suggest that overseeding cool season grasses in early fall can be particularly beneficial. Unfortunately, this advice does not necessarily apply to all lawns. Winterizing fertilizers (or simply “winterizers” as they are sometimes called) have a higher concentration of potassium than other lawn fertilizers, which helps strengthen and harden plants from top to bottom and make them more tolerant of cold and stress. Our Turf Shield team can tell you the specific type of grass that you have and recommend a fertilizer treatment that is right for your lawn’s specific needs.
Autumn is also a good time to protect your fruits and flowers from the winter cold. Ideally, you should have your perennial garden beds cleaned up, removing old stalks and leaves, and then mulched as part of your winter preparation plan. However, if you do not have the time to properly mulch, than leave the stalks and leaves where they are, as they will afford a small degree of protection to the roots of your perennials. Small deciduous shrubs with fragile branches can be protected with a lean-to or some other sort of structure to keep heavy snows off their limbs or to protect them from cold and frost. Avoid watering trees in late summer or early fall before the leaves fall, as this will give them a chance to “harden off” for winter. Then in late fall, after the trees have dropped their leaves but before the ground has frozen, give both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs a final deep watering to last them through the winter.
Last but not least, don’t forget to take a few moments to do some end of the year maintenance on your lawn tools. Improperly stored gasoline can get thick and gummy, so be sure to drain the gas from your lawnmower in the late fall before storing it away. Bring in the garden hose and go down into the basement to turn off its water source to keep your pipes from bursting if the temperatures fall into the teens. A little care and attention now can save you a lot of trouble down the line.
The needs of your lawn will change over the course of any given year, which is one of the reasons why it is a good time to get a little bit of professional help. Our expert lawn care specialists can work with you to determine exactly what measures you should take to keep your yard looking its best. If you have any questions about any of your landscaping needs, or about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we provide, please contact Turf Shield to get more information. Don’t forget to follow us on social media to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.