Did you know that Canada's cool season turfgrasses thrive between temperatures of 15 and 24 °C, although they'll begin their summer growth spurt when the soil reaches a temperature of 4.5 to 7 °C.
In colder locations like Alberta, that means you can kiss your grass goodbye from November to March each year. Cool grasses become dormant when the weather gets too cold, but they can survive if you winterize your garden before the chill sets in. Do you know how to winterize your lawn to ensure it bounces back at its best next summer? Keep reading to find out.
DON'T STOP MOWING
Mowing your lawn regularly helps keep weeds at bay and enhances the look of your property. Yet, as winter draws near, many homeowners stop mowing altogether.
To give your grass a fighting chance against the winter chill, you should mow it for as long as you can. You should mow your grass down to a height of two to three inches as the weather starts to cool. This is the best length to help prevent diseases from gaining a foothold in your grass when it's covered in snow.
PROTECT YOUR GARDEN
Some plants thrive over the winter, particularly bulbs that need low temperatures to bloom in the spring. Most others need a little extra help.
Insulate the topsoil in your vegetable and flower beds by adding mulch as soon as the days start to average between 0°C and 4°C. You can also plant a hardy cover crop or cover the beds with burlap to act as a buffer against the cold. Small, delicate plants might not survive the extreme cold, so, re-pot them and place them indoors.
PREPARE YOUR SOIL
Test the soil before you start getting your lawn ready for winter. A neutral pH level is a sign of a healthy lawn and will ensure it doesn't thin out during the winter.
Treat any acidic areas with lime and add sulfur to alkaline spots. These treatments will help neutralize the soil and ensure your grass stays strong and healthy regardless of the weather.
USE FERTILIZER TO WINTERIZE
Your lawn needs good nourishment to survive its dormant phase and spring back to life when things warm up. Apply winter fertilizers to help sustain them at this time.
These formulations contain high levels of potassium, which helps bolster your lawn against climate stress. It's best to use a fertilizer spreader to ensure an even application of these fertilizers. Nourishing your grass now will ensure it returns in full force when the winter chill starts to wane.
TIDY UP BEFORE THE SNOW
Keep your yard and lawn free of leaves, twigs, and other debris. These things can kill your grass by creating a film that stops fertilizer and water from getting where it needs to be.
CARE FOR YOUR GARDEN ALL YEAR ROUND!
The best way to ensure a healthy, thriving garden is to give it your best attention in every season of the year.