Maintaining your lawn in the Winter

As fall transitions into winter and the year comes to an end, there are still several things to consider when it comes to maintaining your lawn. Mowing is generally not needed for either bermuda or fescue lawns at this time, since it is not actively growing, but watering is definitely still necessary and something you should not overlook. Anyone that has lived in Oklahoma for an extended period knows that the weather here is about as far away from consistent as possible! Winter precipitation is never guaranteed and the warm windy days in January will dry out your lawn. You certainly do not need to water as frequently as you do during the spring and summer months, but giving your lawn a good soak once or twice a month will help prevent dieback when the grass begins actively growing again. Leaf removal is also important for your lawn as this helps reduce the risk of any disease build up and improves the airflow to the root system. You can bag them and add it to your compost pile or mulch them with the lawn mower, but leaving them as a blanket on your lawn could lead to potential damage. Winter is also a great time to do a maintenance check on all of your lawn equipment. Mower blades need to be sharpened after every 20-25 hours of use. For some homeowners that may only be once or twice a year, for commercial lawn companies that is typically once a week! Unsharpened mower blades will cause the grass blades to split down the middle after they are cut resulting in water loss and eventual die out of those blades. The winter months are absolutely perfect for soil testing too! Given the wide range of soil types we have here in Oklahoma, testing your soil once a year is an easy step to make sure that your pH and nutrient levels are all within acceptable ranges for both bermuda and fescue lawns. By testing while the grass is dormant you will have your results before spring and if any corrective action is needed you will be good to go at the beginning of the growing season. It is easy to forget about your lawn during the winter but keeping these things in mind will set you up for success when the flowers begin to bloom again!

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