In Nashville, most lawns are planted with cool-growth grass like bluegrass and tall fescue. These grasses grow longer into the fall and actually don’t go dormant until after the first hard freeze. Because of this “cool-weather” growth, a Nashville lawn can benefit from a late fall or early winter application of fertilizer.
The Parke Company, a full-service Nashville landscaping service and tree service, often recommends a late season application of fertilizer to feed the grass for the limited time it will continue to grow. Just as importantly, the fertilizer allows the grass to store nutrients in the roots, allowing the grass to come up green and lush in spring.
Winter, even our comparatively mild winters, can be hard on a lawn. Because the grass turns brown, many people seem to forget that the lawn still needs care, mostly protective care. A late fertilizer application, and even a late lawn aeration can go a long way in making your spring lawn strong and healthy, but it has to survive to spring first.
Winter Lawn Care Tips
Lawn problems are not limited to those months when the temperatures go up and the sun shines all day. Winter can bring problems that can actually kill grass, trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. To keep that risk to a minimum, follow these simple tips:
- Keep your lawn clean. Dormant grass can be crushed. Grass can be “broken” by foot traffic or by something as light as a pile of leaves that sits on the grass in the same place for months. Winter can litter your lawn, creating those “light weight” dangers. Snow and winter rains will strip the last of any leaves left, snap twigs and weaker limbs, and scatter debris from the neighborhood onto your lawn. Periodically clean up the litter and do a leaf pickup. Your leaf rake is probably your best tool. It’s time consuming but it gets the job done without using a heavy machine and it gets you some outdoor exercise.
- Keep your walkways clear. One way to minimize foot traffic on your lawn is to ensure your sidewalks and driveway are kept cleared of ice and snow. If you use a deicer to clear your walkways, make sure you use a plant safe formulation. Sodium chloride, AKA rock salt, will not only corrode your sidewalk, but if it gets on anything living like grass or shrubs, it may kill it.
- Cover your fragile shrubs. If you have rose bushes or other more fragile plants, cover them with burlap. Nashville gets a little snow, but we get more than our fair share of sleet. A good sleet storm – and it only takes one – can devastate a rose garden.
Of course, if you don’t have the time to maintain your lawn in the winter, you can always call the Parke Company for assistance. Preventing damage in winter makes taking care of your lawn in the spring significantly easier. If we can help you with that, we would be delighted to assist.