Turf-Tech Tuesday - Winterizing Your Home Lawn

by Speare Seeds

Winterizing Your Home Lawn

As we head into the winter months, now is an ideal time to prepare your lawn for winter as well as for the early spring when temperatures start to warm. 

There are two best practices that can be accomplished once your lawn is considered dormant and not growing. These would be dormant seeding and dormant fertilization.  In both cases please ensure that all leaf material is picked up and that all grass clippings and turf damage has been raked up and removed.

Dormant seeding is defined as seeding in late fall after soil temperatures have become too cold to allow for germination.  For best results, direct seeding should be accomplished after November 1, ahead of the first permanent snowfall.  The goal is to not have the seed germinate until soil temperatures warm up in the spring.  The advantage to dormant seeding, since seed will not be able to germinate until late spring, is to have the same start date as the competition, the competition being weed seeds.  Dormant seeding also works great for areas that historically stay too wet in the spring and therefore get a later start than other areas.  Please remember that direct seeding vs broadcast seeding will give you the best chance for success.

Dormant fertilization is defined as applying late season NPK in late fall when your lawn has stopped growing.  The same rules for lawn preparation apply as above.  Dormant applications will allow the plant to scavenge nutrients during the winter and store them in the root zone for earlier spring root growth, the most important growth of the plant.  As the spring temperature start to warm so will the root zone and with dormant applied NPK the risk of spring top growth is very limited.  

By following these two steps, your opportunity to produce a healthier plant with less spring stress will also prove to prepare your lawn for the dog days of summer.  

View our Fertilizer Tech Sheet below to see our line-up.

Watch for a future Turf-Tech Tuesday post on monitoring your lawn during the winter months.