Winter is the season in which we pay the least amount of attention to our turf. For most of us, it’s brown and dormant and “supposed to be that way” in the cold months.
If you don’t live in a warm climate, chances are your landscape vendor has put the mowers away and has moved on to cold weather tasks such as pruning and the dreaded snow and ice removal.
Well not too fast my cold weather friend, there are things that your vendor can be doing to ensure a beautiful, green healthy turf when spring comes back to us.
Winter Fertilizer, Who Knew?
Football is in full swing and the air is getting crisp, time to FERTILIZE! For many of us in SC, our turf is comprised of cool season grass such as Fescue. With this in mind, late fall or early winter is the best time to put out fertilizer.
The idea is to replenish the nutrients that are lost during the hot summer months, thus allowing the soil to be rich and feed the roots of your turf throughout the winter. When spring hits your turf will be full of green grass that is healthy from feeding on good fertilizer in the cold soil.
Winter is Coming! What Landscaping?
When the days begin to get shorter and the nights are getting cooler it is a cue to begin lowering your lawnmower blades. Each time your vendor mows they should be gradually getting lower and lower which will prepare the grass for winter without shocking it by cutting it short in one pass.
If your turf is left too tall during the winter months it becomes a home to mice, gophers and other burrowing animals in search of a warm spot to sleep. The effect of this will cause dead spots and can be detrimental to root systems.
Have a discussion with your landscape vendor to ensure sure your turf is as short as possible at the end of the season. Short turf also protects any new growth that may be more fragile near the end of the growing season.
Clean Up is Key!
Have your maintenance crew or your landscape vendor make sure the turf in and around your building is clear of all objects after it is mowed for the last time of the season. With most vendors on site 52 weeks per year they are able to identify and remove objects that may cause damage to the turf during long periods of cold weather.
Construction debris, trash cans, and even picnic tables can be overlooked easily. Objects left on dormant turf can, overtime, create dead spots due to the weight of the object. These spots will stunt the eventual growth of the turf in the coming spring.
Foot Traffic is a Killer!
When the turf is dormant, the brown almost looks dead. It is easy to forget that it is a living organism and foot traffic should be kept to a minimum. Even for the hardiest of turfs repeated trampling can do irreparable damage causing the turf to struggle to recover and rejuvenate for the warmer months.
Try to educate your employees, residents and visitors to steer clear of the turf and stick to the paved surfaces. Discuss with your vendor about the possibility of snow and ice removal services to keep your sidewalks clear and dry allowing for unimpeded paths too and from offices and cars.
Prepare Your Landscaping in The Fall!
For most site in the great state of SC there isn’t much landscaping need in the cold winter months, outside of clean up, capital projects, and hard pruning.
If you take the time to properly prepare your turf in the fall it will return to the lush green vibrant landscape when spring arrives.
Have a plan in place with your landscape vendor to prepare your turf by following the steps outlined in this blog, this will most certainly ensure successful growth with the new season.
If you have any additional questions would like to learn how we can help with any of your commercial landscaping needs, call us at 864-243-6860 or fill out our contact form.