It is winter and you probably are thinking that lawn and yard maintenance is done for a while. Actually, there are some things you should really consider during these cold and snowy days.
1 Salt – Many de-icer substances contain salt that can damage the grass that is at the edge of your walk and driveway. If the salt gets into the core of the grass (called the crowns), it will not allow the turf to absorb nutrients and you will be left with nasty dead spots come spring. Choose products with calcium chloride as an alternative to the sodium. If your street is treated by the municipal trucks, that spray that lands on your yard can do the same. You may want to hook up the hose and water that part of the lawn as soon as the ground temperatures are above freezing temperatures for at least a week. Note that is soil temperature, not air temperature.
2 Soil Compaction – The dirt or soil beneath the grass provides oxygen and food to the root system of your lawn. If that soil becomes too tight, the grass and other plants will have difficulty staying healthy. Heavy snow will add weight to the area and can cause this compaction. Other causes are driving over the same area or leaving a vehicle parked on the grass. Steady foot traffic will also damage areas.
3 Debris – High winds and ice can cause damage to trees littering your lawn with limbs and branches. This is not just unsightly but the weight of the tree parts can cause the same soil compression we mentioned previously. When safe and feasible, move the large pieces to a patio or driveway. You may want to contact an arborist to remove any dangling branches that are still dangling and could further damage the tree if they split down rather than a simple break.
4 Equipment – If you weren’t able to get to it in the fall, now is a good time to look at your tools. Be sure they are cleaned of any accumulated mud or other substances. Apply a light coat of oil to prevent rusting. Sharpen hoes, trowels, and shovels; a nice clean slice of soil is better than pounding over and over again. Now is a good time to get your mower into the repair shop.
A thorough check up is a good idea if you haven’t had it done in a year or two. Because business is slow, your repair person may offer a discount on the services. Since you won’t be needing it for a few months, you don’t need to be anxious about how much time it is taking. If you believe your mower is in good shape, at least be sure your blades are sharpened so they can create a clean cut. Follow maintenance instructions for your brand and model.
The service representatives at Project Landscape are filled with lots of good tips and ideas. Give them a call to see how they can help.