SEASONAL LAWN CARE: FROM FALL TO WINTER
If you want to sustain your lawn and garden through fall and winter, you must take care of it. Seasonal cleaning, for instance, is one of many essential steps to keeping the lawn healthy.
Fall often has a drastic impacts on the garden that the winter further aggravates. Therefore, if you have not maintained the yard through fall, then a gruesome fate awaits your garden!
Lawn cleaning and winter prep requires efficient strategies and management plans. Each step plays a significant role in assuring the integrity of the plants, grass, and their relative health come next spring.
Reckless lawn management not only damages the plant life in your yard, it also weakens the soil and decreases the availability of helpful minerals. Thus, the soil can become infertile and unfit for future growth.
Ways to Do Your Seasonal Cleanup
Following are some of the ways for cleaning the lawn from fall to winter.
Removing the Debris
One of the most commonly found waste material during the fall includes the leaves and various twigs and small branches that fall more and more rapidly into your lawn. In some cases, the fallen organic material decomposes and contribute to the fertility of the soil.
However, if a large amount of leaves and sticks accumulate on the ground, the result can be disastrous. The debris, especially if it piles high and begins to retain moisture, can do several things you want to avoid:
- Blocking air from reaching your topsoil
- Developing mold, mildew, and algae
- Attracting pests for a breeding ground, such as flies and ticks
- Inviting fungal diseases to overtake your lawn and soil
Do we even need to explain why all of these circumstances should be avoided? Obviously you don’t want to starve your soil, rot your grass, and invite an unsightly infestation.
This is why fallen leaves and sticks should be spread evenly and mowed over for natural mulch, or gotten rid of altogether. Rakes, shovels, and trash bags are you friend for this chore, if you are already facing a sizeable pile of debris in your yard.
Pruning is also an efficient way to maintain your gardnens and hedges through fall. The dead branches and shoots can prevent the growth and nourishment of the healthy portions of your plants.
Diseased, dying, or dead vegetation can also invite weeds. Why and how? Opportunistic species will happily take over any real estate in your yard that isn’t already occupied by healthy plant life.
Once this happens, any weeds that have set up shop create a competition for resources (e.g.- water, nutrients, sunlight) that further challenges the health of your lawn and plants. Therefore, pruning the excessive, overgrown, and/or wilted portions of your shrubs, flowers, etc. is essential.
Use gardening shears for larger jobs, or a sturdy pair of regular scissors for trimming thinner stems and stalks. Your plants will thank you for ensuring that whatever nutrients they’re storing up for winter will now being going toward their more robust branches and foliage rather than trying to nurse ailing appendages that needed getting rid of.
Benefits of Cleanup
Following are some of the benefits of seasonal cleaning and winter prep.
Seasonal lawn care can provide the optimal growth opportunity for your yard’s plants and turf grass. When the debris is mulched or removed, vegetation has the chance to receive aeration and grow.
And again, cleanup also decreases the chances of weed growth. When weeds are not present, plants do not have to go through a competitive environment.
In such cases, plants can utilize all the nutrients present in the soil for their nourishment. As the vegetation in your yard prepares to go dormant or semi-dormant for the winter months, storing up nutrients gives them the best chance to overwinter and return with verdant vigor next spring.
Reduced Disease Onset
As we mentioned before, a littered lawn with accumulated debris is often an incubation space for the microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Moreover, the aeration in the soil also decreases.
Shady, damp soil that never gets to breathe promotes the growth of harmful microorganisms. This growth is not beneficial, and it is easily avoided with mindful cleaning and mulching practices for your lawn’s health.
Fall lawn cleanup is the best way to ensure the survival of your grass and plants, as well as a healthy return when spring arrives. Utilize these tips and practices to successfully prepare your lawn and landscape for the winter.