If you want to keep your lawn healthy throughout the winter (and beyond), you need to ensure you’re doing as much prep and maintenance work as you can afford to do. In Tennessee, knowing how to handle these complex tasks can become an even more specific undertaking, so never be afraid to look toward professionals for help (more on this soon). For now, here are seven Tennessee lawn care tips that will help you get through the winter, and the other upcoming months in 2023:
1. Consider Hiring a Professional Team
To ensure your lawn is truly ready for the winter season, and for all the seasons beyond, you need to consider recruiting professional help, or at least contacting a trusted lawn care service for some friendly advice. Even if you’re doing all the dirty work yourself, you’ll need a professional to help you pick out the best pre-emergents and other lawn care products that you’ll require. The more you trust the professionals, the more confident you’ll be in the lawn care prep tasks that you carry out, after all.
2. Cut Your Grass Extra Short
You should be reducing your mower’s deck by one notch every time you mow in the fall until the mowing height is between two and two-and-a-half inches. The chance of snow and mold accumulation, which can harm your lawn in the spring, is reduced significantly by cutting your grass at a shorter length. By removing the superfluous plant tissue, airflow is also increased and the soil-to-air barrier is lowered. This prevents the grass from getting too much moisture. Even in moments when you feel that your lawn can deal with being longer, going shorter is recommended.
3. Use Pre-Emergents
Pre-emergents, often known as weed prevention treatments, are typically used in the spring. However, if you’ve finished overseeding and your grass looks good, the winter can actually be an ideal time to apply some pre-emergents and get ahead on your lawn care tasks. Poa trivialis, a grassy weed that grows quickly and may easily overrun your lawn in shady locations, won’t be able to germinate in the fall if you use the proper pre-emergents to keep the weed’s growth firmly under control. This task will help prepare you for fantastic home gardening results as well!
4. Aerate Your Lawn
Water cannot be absorbed quickly enough in soil that has been overly compacted, thus it pools on the surface, causing tons of nasty issues. The cells may freeze as a result, killing grass plants, and other greenery that you’re trying to take care of. Soil should be aerated to promote water infiltration and reduce compaction, and is key to getting your lawn through the winter without expensive damage occurring. You want to avoid “winter death” from happening – a problem caused by excess water being stored around the crown of the plant.
5. Maintain Your Lawn Care Equipment
Make sure your lawn equipment is in tip-top shape during this brief downtime, and you’ll be well set up for handling lawn care tasks in the coming year as well. Take advantage of the brief window of time when you’re not using this equipment weekly, to tune up your equipment and sharpen the blades on your lawn mower. Your spreaders, dethatchers, and aerators will also need to be cleaned. Make sure your irrigation system is prepared for the warm weather and restring your trimmers, and you’ll have your lawn care equipment ready to go.
6. Water Precisely and Appropriately
Keep your yard watered in the fall, and throughout the winter, and your grass will look much lusher. You run the danger of losing access to a healthy, good-looking lawn over the winter if your lawn doesn’t receive at least a half-inch of water every other week. Fortunately, unless you’re in an extreme drought situation, it can typically be covered by rainfall. Being precise and appropriate with your water usage will help you up your lawn care game significantly.
7. Do an Over-Arching Soil Quality Test
Warm-season grasses don’t require fertilizer during the winter. This makes it the ideal opportunity to use a soil tester to examine the levels of nutrients and develop a plan for the following season. To obtain a reliable baseline value, you should take a soil sample at least 60 days after applying fertilizer. Doing so will ensure the data you gather is accurate and will help you tackle all of your lawn care tasks in the future in a more accurate, useful fashion.
Here’s to a Healthy Lawn!
With these seven useful tips, you’ll be well-prepared to keep your lawn looking beautiful and healthy all year long! Every year that you continue to take lawn care seriously will help transform you into a homeowner that will inspire envy and admiration in your neighbors (so be sure to put forth your best effort).