The last thing on your mind during the winter when the snow is falling and the temperature is freezing is lawn care. However, there are some tasks that can be done during this cold time of year to ensure a great-looking lawn right from the start in early spring. Here is why you should have your lawn fertilized this winter:
Is Winter Fertilizing Really Necessary?
Late fall and early winter is the most important time of year to fertilize your lawn. You must get nutrients into the ground before the first hard freeze. During the cold months, when snow is on the ground, grassroots are still actively growing and need these nutrients. After the ground freezes, fertilizer cannot reach the roots. This may result in a very weak spring growth with bare patches and little new growth. The effects may last right through the summer.
There are fertilizers made especially for winterizing your lawn. These chemicals include a high percentage of potassium. The root system will be strengthened at the cellular level making it more able to cope with the stressful upper Midwestern winter. Potassium also helps plants to absorb other important nutrients.
Commercial grade fertilizers that are on the market contain a higher percentage of potassium and lower level of nitrogen. These are not really necessary for a residential property. The fertilizer bags are clearly marked as to the percentage of chemicals used in that specific fertilizer.
Comparing Fertilizer Products
Fertilizers come in the summer, fall and winter variety. If you look closely, you will find that summer and early fall types will contain a higher concentration of nitrogen. This is the main ingredient to make a thick green lawn for the growing season.
There are slow release fertilizers that cover all the necessary nutrients, but these are usually difficult to find during the summer. During the middle to late fall, the winter mixtures are put on the shelves. If you are lucky enough to come upon the slow release variety, you will save a considerable amount of time by cutting down on the number of applications.
Cool season grass is the variety found in the upper Midwest. This type will remain green all year long. These grasses include Bent grass, Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, and Ryegrass. In mid to late winter, these plants remain dormant, but will continue to grow the rest of the year. This makes winter fertilizing even more important in this region.
Your lawn will have a great start next season if you follow these easy lawn care tips. Taking the time to do a fall lawn clean-up followed by a winter fertilizer treatment can work wonders in giving that well-maintained appearance to your property and minimize spring maintenance tasks. You can relax during the winter months knowing your lawn will be ready for the arrival of spring.