By Peter Goldberg
Caring for your lawn in the winter can be hard for many in the Phoenix area. Winter temperatures can come at a surprise for a newly planted, and specific steps need to be taken to ensure that your lawn looks beautiful all winter long. Learn more about how to prepare your Phoenix lawn for winter with these simple tips:
Overseed With Ryegrass
Most Phoenix homeowners will have a warm-season grass type planted in their lawn like zoysia grass or Bermudagrass. Warm-season grasses tend to turn brown during the winter as they go dormant thanks to falling temperatures. Many Phoenix homeowners choose to overseed their lawns with a cool-season grass to keep their yards green all year long. Choose from a variety of cool-season grasses, like Annual or Perennial Ryegrass, to grow a green lawn that can flourish in colder temperatures. Just spread a cool season grass onto your garden at the beginning of winter when cooler nights appear to keep your lawn looking beautiful all season long.
Once you overseed your lawn, consider using a slow release fertilizer that will help to feed the lawn slowly over time. Fertilizers come in a variety of mixes, and some are even geared toward winter use. Spreading a slow release fertilizer in either pellet or granular form will allow the lawn to slowly absorb the needed nutrients it needs to survive the winter. Quick release fertilizers can also be used if required to green up a lawn quickly for a few weeks. Be careful when applying both kinds of fertilizers, though, as putting too much in one area can burn the grass and create a dead spot.
Watering a Phoenix lawn during the winter doesn’t need to be as frequent as in the hotter months, but that also means that you can’t ignore it either. Your lawn will still need to be watered throughout the winter to maintain its health. Water your lawn on a weekly basis to allow it a long drink of moisture that will help it last through the winter. Make sure to water early in the morning, usually before 10 am, to allow your lawn enough time to soak up the water before the sun sits overhead.
Add Mulch or Compost
Introducing other forms of energy into your lawn is beneficial for both the grass itself as well as the soil that surrounds it. Add mulch to a lawn to help it retain moisture as well as provide essential nutrients. Compost can also be added to create a healthier soil content that will ultimately also benefit the grass. Both mulch and compost can be produced at home using organic materials such as fallen dead leaves or a compost pile. Purchased options are also available as well from a local garden center or hardware store.
Keeping your lawn at the recommended height is essential to do all year long. Winter temperatures can make Phoenix homeowners feel like their lawn can grow longer but it is necessary to keep on a regular mowing schedule. Remember to never take off more than thirty percent of the height of the grass blade at one time to refrain from injuring the grass root. Check the recommendations for your grass seed to cut the lawn at the recommended height. Also, be considerate of new seedlings that will shoot up quickly and grow well when a lawn has been overseeded and fertilized. Winter mowing is the most comfortable time to mow given the lower temperatures and cooler conditions.
Preparing your Phoenix lawn for winter is easy by following these simple tips. Phoenix homeowners don’t get a break from winter lawn care like other parts of the country that will have significant snowfall. The cooler conditions allow for lawns to still actively growing throughout the winter season to add beauty to a home. Make sure to follow these tips on how to prepare your Phoenix lawn for winter this year.
Peter Goldberg is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. He likes to fire up the grill to cook for family and friends, as well as using his organically grown garden produce to create mouth watering meals.