Your yard should be able to provide a place and time for rest, repose, and relaxation. Unless you live in the two-season climate of the tropics, you will find animals and even plants take a bit of a vacation in preparation for the bloom of spring. Although they don't exactly shed their leaves like trees and shrubs, lawns do go through a sort of hibernating state, slowing down their typical processes through the cold winter months. As such, lawns typically require very little maintenance around this time.
However, just because your lawn needs a lot less maintenance in the winter doesn't mean it doesn't need maintenance at all; the cold weather brings with it its own issues that can damage your lawn as the weather warms up. Keeping your lawn well maintained in the winter months will help ensure they stay healthy and grow lush and green again in the bloom of spring. Here are a few effective lawn care tricks you can do all year long to keep your yard in shape.
1. Clean Up.
If you have a lot of other plants either in or within the vicinity of your yard, chances are there will be a lot of dead leaves strewn about the yard, left over by the fall. Ideally, you would want to keep your lawn clean and clear of leaves, branches, and other objects. The weight of heavier objects, such as toys and yard furniture like benches, will place a lot of pressure on the grass, creating what is known as a "dead spot", a patch of grass that will take longer to grow out.
Besides clearing the lawn of objects, you would also want to avoid walking across the lawn, as excessive traffic will stunt the growth of your lawn in the later months. Raking your lawn every two weeks or so is also helpful, as it breaks up clumps between the blades of grass. This also means lawn mowing which is both for aesthetics and promotes uniform grass growth.
While we're on the topic of compacted ground, it is also a good idea to aerate your lawn. Lawn aeration, simply put, punches holes throughout your lawn to break up compacted soil, allowing air to flow down into the root level of your lawn grass. Aeration is typically done throughout the year – improving air circulation in the soil to allow the grass to grow deeper and stronger roots.
Once you've finished aerating your lawn, it is also a good idea to fertilize your lawn grass afterward in preparation for the winter months. Although lawn grass goes dormant in the winter, it does not stop growing completely and will still take up nutrients from the soil, albeit a lot more slowly. Fertilizing your lawn before snow and ice come around will help to ensure that your grass has access to a supply of nutrients through the winter, which will help them grow vibrantly as the ice and snow thaws to make way for spring.
Keeping your lawn hydrated is one of the most common care tips one practice throughout the year. However, its still important even in the later months of the year. Now, it might seem a bit counter-intuitive to water your lawn during the coldest months of the year. However, the winter is typically the driest season of the year, so it is important to make sure your lawn is sufficiently hydrated throughout the winter. Ideally, you would want to water your plants after fertilizing them; however, there isn't really a fixed schedule for watering your lawn as it will depend on the condition of the weather and the soil. That being said, the lower temperatures make it so that you won't necessarily need to water your lawn as much as, say, in the summer. The general goal, of course, is to simply make sure your soil doesn't dry out; you can check the moisture of the soil by digging down a couple of inches and watering as necessary.
If there is anything to take away from these lawn care tips, it's that all of them are, for the most part, the same sort of maintenance work you would do on your lawn throughout the rest of the year. The point of this is that making sure your lawn is well cared for all year long is just as important as caring for your lawn in the spring when grass is most lush. Lawn grass does not need any special maintenance; it just needs maintenance in general. And by taking a bit of time out of your days, you can always have a lush, green yard right outside your door.