Lawn care in the fall: winter preparation features
Standard lawn care in the fall must necessarily include a set of mandatory procedures, including irrigation measures, grass mowing, fertilization and soil aeration. As a rule, the entire list of works is carried out from September to October, before the onset of frost.
Last haircut: when and how to mow the lawn before winter
The list of mandatory events includes the latest haircut, which should be carried out, guided by the following recommendations:
- the lawn grass that is not cut in time withers and lays down, and in the spring period this layer works as a mulch, which does not allow new sprouts to sprout;
- the last time to cut the lawn grass should be closer to a steady cooling, watching the weather conditions;
- mowed grass can be used as fertilizer for ridges from which the entire crop has already been harvested or for laying in compost;
- since September, the soil cools down sufficiently, which significantly slows down the growth of the lawn cover and cannot be cut too low.
The average height of the stand should be approximately 50 mm. Stronger mowing has a negative effect on the lawn and can drain it.
How to care for a lawn in the fall (video)
Top dressing and aeration
Properly preparing the lawn for winter is not too difficult, but for this it is necessary in the autumn to provide adequate nutrition and saturate the upper soil layers with sufficient oxygen. It should be remembered that the number and composition of the autumn feeding must be special, which will allow you to get a lush lawn cover in the next year:
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- cannot be used in the autumn period of top dressing, which include nitrogen-containing components;
- The main components of fertilizers that are used to feed herbs of any type in preparation for winter should be phosphorus and potassium, which do not provoke growth processes, but strengthen the root system and increase the level of winter resistance;
- potash fertilizer can be wood ash or potassium sulfate, as well as special autumn formulations for feeding grass lawn;
- top dressing is carried out before irrigation activities.
A very important stage of preparation is the implementation of aeration with special equipment. Aeration on small areas can be performed with forks, which should be very careful to pierce the turf.
Competent preparation also includes such an event as mulching. As the lawn grows and develops, the soil acquires a less flat relief, which is due to regular watering, as well as changing seasons and mechanical loads. Such features provoke the loss of the soil composition of minerals and salts, which are very necessary for the normal growth and development of plants. As a result, not only the appearance of the coating worsens, but pronounced bald spots appear.
The situation can be rectified by the use of mulch, which can be applied as a special mixture, represented by peat, sand and fertile soil. As a rule, mulching activities are supplemented with supplements, which contributes to the effectiveness of procedures. Mulching helps to increase the beneficial turf layer and improves the growth processes of lawn grass. Also, mulch prevents the soil from drying out and increases fertility rates as a result of saturation with nutrients. Through mulching, it is possible to increase winter resistance and prevent the spread of weeds.
Mulch is poured on the grass cover in late September or early October. It is best to use the following mixtures for this purpose:
- on clay soils - garden soil, sand and peat in a ratio of 2: 4: 1;
- on loamy soils - garden soil, sand and peat at a ratio of 4: 2: 1.
All components must be dry. The mixture is distributed over the lawn cover evenly, at the rate of one and a half kilograms per square meter.
It is recommended to carry out protective spraying exactly in the autumn period, after the average daily temperature indicators of the air decrease to the level of plus 5 ° С. The greatest efficiency was shown by spraying grass cover with a modern systemic antifungal agent. It is recommended to use drugs such as "Fundazol" or "Benomil." It is very important in the spring, with the onset of sustained warming, to repeat the treatment, which will prevent the lawn from being damaged by the causative agent of snow mold.
How to prepare a lawn for winter (video)
How to protect the lawn in winter
The ice crust, under which lawn grass feels very hard, should collapse in a timely manner, otherwise the lack of breathing adversely affects wintering. You can destroy the ice crust with the help of ski poles, rakes or garden pitchforks, as well as with other suitable items. Also facilitate the destruction of the crust on frosty days allows a small amount of potassium chloride.
It has a very bad effect on the state of perennial grass cover, frost and trampled snow. Do not place ski tracks on top of the lawn. It is especially dangerous to pour a skating rink on the surface with warm water that melts snow.
Features of sowing lawn before winter
Sowing seeds for the winter is required to perform in the last decade of August or in September, approximately to the twentieth numbers. It is recommended to focus the sowing time on soil and weather conditions, which will allow you to plant a lawn before frost. Otherwise, the germinated seeds do not have enough time to get stronger and freeze out during a period of extreme cold.
Experienced gardeners sow seeds on the lawn even in November, during the period of optimal freezing of the ground, but before the appearance of snow cover. In this case, the planting material undergoes stratification under the influence of frosts and obtains excellent resistance to temperature differences and pathogens. In the spring, melting of the snow cover creates the most favorable conditions for the sprouting of lawn grass, one hundred guarantees the production of friendly shoots.
Before sowing, the plot should be cleared of debris and weeds, as well as to plan the way of placing the lawn and level the soil surface. On the prepared site it is possible to carry out sowing works approximately in three weeks. It is necessary to scatter fertilizer on the soil surface and with a rake close up top dressing in the soil. For sowing, special lawn seeders or hydro seeding devices are used. Sowing work should be performed in windless cloudy weather. Crops need to be sure to provide not only good nutrition, but also a sufficient amount of moisture.
Lawn care after winter
No less attention will be required to the lawn cover after the winter cold. With the onset of sustainable spring heat, it is very important to properly and timely feed the soil until the young grass grows back. Comprehensive care activities necessarily include spring dressings.
Full-value fertilizers, in addition to phosphorus-potassium components, must necessarily contain nitrogen-containing substances. Only a fully balanced composition will provide high-quality vegetation of plants. Top dressing should be done in the evening. It is recommended to shed lawn abundantly, which will help to obtain a complete dissolution of fertilizers.
Approximately one and a half to two weeks after feeding, it is required to “comb” the lawn grass. This procedure helps to ensure air access to the roots of plants. Late removal of dead grass is often the main cause of lawn disease. Aeration is also carried out in the spring, which is especially important in areas of stagnant water and in lowlands. In small areas, the process of weed removal is carried out manually. On large lawns, it is advisable to use selective herbicides. Above all, it is very important to perform restoration work involving the sowing of seeds in bare places.
Lawn aeration after winter (video)
As the long-term practice shows, properly planted and well-groomed lawn grass, regardless of the type, does not freeze out in winter in the presence of a stable snow cover. However, in order to preserve the decorative appeal, it is very important to properly prepare the grass for frost by completing the whole set of measures, including watering, fertilizing, aeration, prevention and mulching.