The Importance of Winter Lawn Treatments

January 25, 2023

Two lawns on the same street, growing from the same soil, experiencing the same weather, likely even composed of the same type of grass, but with dramatically different appearances. The most likely explanation is surprisingly simple.

Why Do Some Lawns Emerge from Dormancy with Muted Color and Bare Spots?

Sometimes the culprits are the usual suspects: insects or funguses and other plant diseases. Sometimes, though, the cause isn’t external and can’t be detected with the naked eye. Winter means less sunlight to process nutrients into energy, but more importantly, it means fewer nutrients to process. Grass that has been receiving regular applications of fertilizer will look great when it enters dormancy. But if those treatments stop when cold weather arrives, that fertilizer runs out. With less mowing, fewer clippings are left on the ground to break down into food. The result is grass that wakes up weak and hungry, or, even worse, doesn’t wake up at all, exposing patches of exposed soil.

Just One Treatment in Early Winter Can Make a Huge Difference

The application of a slow-release fertilizer in late fall or early winter – before the first frost – will provide a small but steady stream of nutrients to your lawn all winter long. Potassium, nitrogen, and other essential minerals will seep into the soil, to be slowly absorbed by grass roots. The resulting energy allows those roots to grow stronger and extend deeper into the earth.

Finally, the appropriate amount of these slow-release fertilizers is calculated to provide a small amount more than your lawn really needs to get through the winter. As a result, some nutrients will remain in the ground when sunshine and rising temperatures start to wake grass up from its long winter’s nap. If you think of the growing year as a day, this is the hearty breakfast that provides the energy to start that day off right.

Why Hire a Professional Lawn Care Company?

It’s obviously possible to apply fertilizer yourself, but it’s important to remember that it’s not as straightforward as it looks. Failure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them closely can seriously damage grass. Most lawn care services offer year-long programs that include winter treatments, so you’ll barely have to think about them. If you and your family prioritize keeping off the grass during the winter when it’s in a weakened state – especially after a frost – you’ll be helping to ensure that your lawn gets the best start possible to another year of health.

If you have questions about winter treatments, or any other subject related to lawn care, please contact Southern Lawns at 334-466-0600 or through this website. Our trained professionals are ready to use their years of experience to help you bring your dream lawn to life.