Winter Lawn Care in Nashville

Lawn with Frost

We are literally weeks away from seeing the cold temperatures that come with a Nashville winter. Unfortunately, your beautiful lawn can take a major hit during the coldest season if you haven’t taken precautions to protect it.

The Parke Company, Nashville’s leading provider of landscaping services, suggests you take certain precautions in the short time remaining to ensure your winter lawn makes it through the season and is healthy and ready to go when spring arrives.

Some fall clean up steps are going to require the services of a professional landscaper, but most you can do yourself providing you have the time.

Prepping Your Nashville Lawn for the Winter

Probably your biggest risk for a winter disaster, both in terms of damage and dollars, involves your irrigation system. If the system is not completely drained, there is a risk of an irrigation pipe bursting, an event that will probably go unnoticed until the thaw begins.

A burst irrigation pipe can damage the lawn, create a seepage in your foundation, and of course will require digging up the lawn to make a repair. Have your system serviced professionally before the temperature drops below 32 degrees overnight.

A clean lawn will survive the winter better than one that is littered. Even a little weight can damage dormant grass. If you look out the window today and see a lawn covered in leaves, you’ve got a leaf clean up project in your immediate future.

Breaking out a leaf rake and leaf bags is one way to tackle the problem, but there are faster methods. If you own a leaf vac you already know the advantages. If you don’t have one, The Parke Company can provide that service and take it one step further.

We have a leaf vacuum mulcher that will leave your lawn as clean as a billiard table and turn your leaves into a nutritious mulch for your spring garden at the same time.

If you have grasses common to Nashville like Bermuda or bluegrass, give your lawn one last fertilizing to carry it through the winter. If you do this before the freeze, you’ll get the advantage of the fertilizer reaching the roots.

After the Snow Flies

The key here is to prevent damage because any damage after the grass has gone dormant can’t be repaired until the spring.

In Scotland, many of the legendary golf courses are open in the winter. It’s cold but there isn’t that much snow. The grass is not brown, it’s “golden” or “crispy,” just like dead grass everywhere. No carts are allowed because the weight would crush or break the grass. When you’re ready to hit your ball, the caddy will lift it up, place a small mat of AstroTurf down, and replace the ball.

This will come as a shock for first timers, and at $280 a round, it may take a little joy out of the game. However, the Scots know that if golfers could whale away on the fairways while the grass is dormant, their course would suffer significant damage.

Your lawn is just as vulnerable as the Saint Andrews fairways. Keep it clean through the winter. Periodically check for toys, tools, or other items that may have been put down and forgotten. Minimize foot traffic on the lawn by keeping sidewalks cleared of snow and ice.

A little prep work and a little vigilance during the cold season will be rewarded in spring when your lawn comes back lush and green.

Composting: Taking the old and making it new

Autumn is getting close in Nashville – you can practically smell the pumpkin pies baking and hear the sounds of backyard football games. That means you can probably smell the aroma of rotting leaves and see the buildup soon to overtake your lawn as well. What should you do with the leaves falling aimlessly to the ground, and if only there was a way to deal with them in a helpful and environmentally friendly way. Luckily, there is. While we here at the Parke Company are happy to take away anything you might have stored in those heavy leaf bags, by saving them, you can create something infinitely more useful: a compost area.

Reuse, Reduce and Recycle

At its simplest form, a compost garden is just a collection of food and yard waste, kept moist and allowed to aerate. After a period of weeks or months, depending on the type of composting used and the materials involved, the waste will break down into a handy substance that can be used in a variety of ways, including as a soil additive, a conditioner, or a fertilizer. Since the project can take as long as six months, if you get started now, your compost will be ready for the spring planting and growing seasons. While the products of your fall cleanup are probably going to be the most common ingredients, you can also throw in the clippings from mowing the lawn, scraps from the table (just not meat or bones), and even things such as cardboard and wood chips. The important thing is to get a mix of nitrogen and carbon based materials, as too much of either will throw off the balance of the compost. The other main ingredient is oxygen, which is why a compost pile needs to be turned regularly. The oxygen provides a fuel for the breakdown process, as does the moisture from a regular watering, although you can always let the natural rainfall handle that aspect.

Reaping the Benefits

There are several types of composting available to you. The most common one involves an enclosed area, usually a chicken-wire fence covered with a tarp. When constructing it, start on a bare patch of dirt to allow microorganisms and other decomposers an easy way of reaching the materials. You should layer wet and dry materials, and look into breaking up some of the tougher materials. For instance, corn cobs take a very long time to decompose, so you might want to cut them into smaller chunks to aid that process. Additionally, larger, flatter objects, like cardboard or a large pile of leaves, need to be shredded before getting added.

If you do end up with a large amount of leaves, you might want to look into several leaf-only composting options. For one, you can create a compost pile made only of leaves, which includes a layer of dirt between every couple of inches of leaves. This will take the longest amount of time to fully compost, and won’t provide the same number of nutrients as a normal compost, but it still has its benefits as a soil additive. You can also use the leaves to make a sort of tea bag, which you can then steep in a barrel of water for a couple of days. After that, remove the bag and the water has now become a healthy, nutrient-rich drink you can use to water your plants with.

If the idea of composting is something that intrigues you, or you just have more yard waste than you know what to do with, you can always call the Parke Company to help you get started