Colder weather has arrived in the Lubbock area. So what does that mean for homeowners and their lawns? Do you still have to mow regularly? Should you even be watering your lawn? What’s a homeowner to do with those pesky leaves? The lawn care and tree care experts at Ashton Walden put together all of those answers for you.
Mowing Your Grass
One of the glories of the holidays and colder weather means you don’t have to mow your lawn like you do in the summer. Your fescue grass continues to grow during the winter, however, it grows much slower because it’s gone dormant to protect itself from the cold. When you’re cutting your grass for the last time, remember it’s still a living organism. You don’t want your grass’ roots to be damaged by the cold, so it’s important not to cut too short. However, bigger isn’t always better – if your grass is too long, it can develop mold or diseases. Either way, cutting your grass incorrectly can lead to a less satisfying lawn in the spring. The appropriate height of your grass depends on the type of grass you have. Here’s the inside scoop:
- Bermuda Grass: Mow one notch lower than during the summer, but be sure not to scalp your lawn!
- Fescue: Keep your mower at the same height as during the summer.
Related Read: 6 Tips You Need to Know When You Mow
Raking Those Pesky Leaves
As we mentioned above, your grass is still alive. Even though it’s not growing as quickly, it still needs nutrients to survive. That means your grass needs sunlight. Leaves and other debris can block that sunlight, so make sure to rake them up! Debris left in your lawn can also trap moisture and cause molding or disease in your grass, so make sure you keep heavy items, like trash cans, off your grass. If you’re thinking of cutting up all those dead leaves with your last mow of the season, make sure you don’t have a heavy layer of leaves. When you’re done mowing, the leaves should be so finely chopped and spread, you can hardly tell they were ever there. However, if you can still see leaf debris after mowing, you’ll need to mow again and bag up the clippings.
Watering Your Lawn & Trees
Grass being overly dry during the winter is the number one reason lawns don’t look their best in the spring. In colder climates, the snowmelt is usually enough to water the grass, but here in Texas, you’ll probably have to water your lawn. If it’s been a few weeks since the last rain, or your lawn is looking dull, water it. Water your lawn in the morning to give it the best chance of drying before nightfall, which helps prevent disease. Giving your lawn deep, but infrequent waterings can help strengthen the roots. Here are the guidelines for watering while following water conservation best practices:
- Bermuda Grass: Water 1.5 inches per month if there is not a significant amount of rainfall.
- Fescue Grass: Water .5 inches per week if there is not a significant amount of rainfall.
- Trees: Water the trees once per month if there is not a significant amount of rainfall.
Other Winter Tips
- Fertilize before the first snowfall – Don’t forget, your grass still needs food to survive the winter. Fertilizing before winter sets in can help give you a strong, lush lawn in the spring.
- Research your trees for pruning advice – Flowering trees especially can have particular requirements for winter pruning, so get some information before you start.
- Clean up your yard tools – Most of us put away the majority of our gardening equipment for the colder months. Make sure tools are free of dirt and debris, and stored somewhere they’re protected from moisture to prolong the life and reliability of your tools.
- Already missing that spring sunshine? Check out our spring prep checklist, and remember how much less work the winter months are.
Already got enough on your plate during the holiday season? Contact Ashton Walden at (806) 632-3571 to let someone else give you a fantastic looking lawn while you enjoy the holidays!