When the temperature starts to drop and the days grow shorter, most of us start to prepare our homes for winter.
We swap out our summer clothes for warmer gear, make sure our furnaces are in working order, and perhaps even put up some holiday decorations. But what about our lawns and flower beds?
Cold weather can do a lot of damage to your landscape if you’re not careful—but there are steps you can take to minimize the damage and help your lawn survive the winter months. Protect your landscape against cold fronts with this advice from the most trusted Dallas lawn care experts.
How Can Cold Weather Damage Your Lawn’s Looks?
There are a few ways in which cold weather can damage your lawn. We’ll go over the most important reasons here.
For one thing, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause warm weather grass to go dormant, which means it will stop growing until the weather warms up again.
While dormant grass can be an eyesore, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, it’s actually nature’s way of protecting the grass from dying during a long, cold winter.
Frost Kills Off Seedlings
Additionally, frost can kill off young grass seedlings that haven’t had a chance to develop deep roots yet. So, if you’ve recently seeded your lawn, be extra careful to protect it from the cold.
There are several ways to protect seedlings from frost, but the most common ways to protect your grass from a freeze are keeping your lawn hydrated throughout the winter and keeping seedlings covered with a tarp.
Another way in which cold weather can damage your lawn is by causing the ground to freeze. This can damage trees and shrubs by swelling the soil and heaving them out of the ground. Swollen, expanded soil can also cause underground pipes and irrigation systems to break; creating even more damage to your landscape.
Plus, once the ground freezes, it will be much harder for you to prep your lawn for springtime planting—so it’s best to avoid it if at all possible.
How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Lawn During Winter?
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent winter weather damage to your lawn. We like to believe that the first step towards keeping your landscape fresh during the winter is planting plants that are resistant to cold weather.
If you’re planning on adding any new trees or shrubs to your landscape this year, do some research beforehand and choose varieties that are known for being able to withstand colder temperatures. This will help reduce the risk of them being damaged by frost or heaving.
Some examples of cold weather trees and grass that thrive in Texas include Live Oaks, Magnolias, Eastern Red Cedar, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass.
Don’t Forget to Mulch Your Flower Beds
Mulch your flower beds. A layer of mulch around your flower beds will insulate flowers against the cold and help prevent moisture loss. Just make sure not to use too much—a 2-3 inch layer is usually sufficient.
Aerate in the Fall
Aerate your lawn in fall. Aerating helps improve drainage and reduce compaction, both of which will help your lawn withstand heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures better.
Just be sure not to do it too late in the season. We suggest aiming for mid-fall so that your lawn has time to heal before winter sets in.
Wrap vulnerable plants with burlap or blankets. If you have any plants that are particularly susceptible to cold weather damage (such as rose bushes), consider wrapping them with burlap or blankets before the snow starts falling.
This will create an extra layer of insulation against the elements. If you have plants that you’ve potted, we also recommend bringing them indoors before a heavy freeze.
Perform a Soil Test
A soil test will tell you the pH level of your soil, and reveal what nutrients it is lacking. This information is important because it will help you determine what amendments need to be added to the soil in order to make it more hospitable for grass growth during the winter.
You can purchase a soil testing kit at your local nursery or home improvement store, or you can have a lawn care expert professionally test it and give you detailed answers as to what your grass needs to survive the winter.
Keep Your Winter Lawn Merry this Season with Executive Lawn Care
Winter weather can be tough on your lawn; but if you take some precautions ahead of time, you can help minimize the damage and ensure that your landscape survives until springtime arrives again.
Don’t forget about your outdoor spaces as you’re making preparations for winter. After all, a little bit of effort now can go a long way towards keeping your yard looking its best all season long!
If you need help getting your lawn winter-ready, Executive Lawn Care has the experience your lawn deserves. Contact us to learn more about our lawn mowing, bed and bush maintenance and other lawn care services we provide throughout Dallas.
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