Turf needs year-round care
Your lawn does not actually die each winter; it goes dormant. Dormant grass needs care too, especially in periods when there is a lack of precipitation. Turf needs water in winter, though not as much as it does in the heat of the summer. Simply turning off the water until spring leaves your lawn at risk of drought stress.
Drought stress creates favorable conditions for problems like turf mites. The damage (brown, straw-like patches) can show up as early as February and can devastate the entire lawn if left untreated. The best defense against mites is to water turf over the winter.
Just be sure to water when the soil is above 40 degrees. Don’t water frozen soil. And remember that salt or ice melt used on walks and driveways can end up in the lawn and cause damage. Use only when needed and avoid brushing or shoveling it onto nearby grass or plants.
Give your landscape water and a little attention this winter to make sure it returns to a healthy green this spring. Consult a landscape professional if you’re unsure about how much water your turf needs or are concerned about pests or disease.
This advice was featured in ALCC’s Tip of the Week email. To sign up for these emails, click HERE.