It may not feel like it now, but winter is coming to Central Florida eventually, and you will need to have your lawn prepared. There are some easy steps you can take starting now to keeping your lawn in good shape as the winter months reach us.
First, make sure to clean up your lawn. Any leaves, debris, or even toys left out on the lawn too long can smother the grass, creating conditions where it is susceptible to disease, as well as inviting insects, mice, or other damaging pests to take up residence under the debris.
Second, make sure to lower the height of your mower a bit as you mow your grass during the winter, as longer grass can smother itself or be damaged from freezing and later thawing. Also monitor how often you are walking through the grass – although it may seem fine while dormant in the winter, you can actually cause damage to the regrowth of grass in spring months if you have been walking a worn path in the grass.
Third, make sure to fertilize your lawn in the late fall, before there are any freeze warnings. This will help the roots of the grass in your yard survive hibernation and wake up quickly in spring.
Besides taking care of the lawn itself, there are a few other things you can do to help prepare. Make sure to turn off your sprinklers whenever the weather starts to get colder – if the temperature drops below freezing, you could inadvertently turn your lawn into an ice rink. Furthermore, drain the sprinkler lines – while many have an automatic draining system, others have a valve you will need to open to let the water out – so that they will not freeze or burst during the winter months.
By taking proper care of you lawn now and preparing it for winter, you will ensure that it comes back to its full beauty in spring