How To Winterize your Lawn


Just like all plants, lawns will need some extra care provided to them before they fall into dormancy this Winter.  There are things you should do to ensure your lawns Green Up beautifully in the Spring without any issues.


1. Fall is the best time to give lawns that one last good dose of fertilizer that will help stimulate their roots to fill in during their Winter dormancy. Fall feeding is one of the most critical of all feeding times.  A healthy and stable plant can endure the hardship of Winter better than a young, weak plant.  Winterizer fertilizers build Winter hardiness, stem strength, and disease resistance in lawns, trees, and shrubs.

What is a Winterizer? Your lawn’s nutrient needs change in the fall in preparation for the cold weather ahead. Winterizing fertilizers are high in potassium (chemical symbol: K), the third number listed on the fertilizer label.  Potassium is a very important nutrient in overall plant health. It works at the cellular level to strengthen and harden plants from top to bottom, making them more tolerant of cold and stress. Potassium also helps a plant absorb other nutrients, making it an important component of balanced feeding for your lawn. 

The other two nutrients in fertilizer are nitrogen, the first number (chemical symbol: N), which promotes leaf and stem growth; and phosphorus, the middle number (chemical symbol: P), to enhance root growth and fruit production.

Commercial winterizer fertilizers usually contain higher levels of potassium and lower levels of nitrogen than early-season “Lawn Food” type fertilizers. For example, Fertilome's Winterizer & Weed Preventer II (For Southern Grasses) fertilizer has an N-P-K number of 10-0-14.

Should you use a Winterizer fertilizer on your lawn? Conduct a soil test. If it shows inadequate levels of potassium in your soil, you will should apply a winterizer.


2. Keep lawns free of too much leaf debris and other litter. This will damped the grass, creating holding spots for diseases and fungi to populate.  You can do this by either mulching leaves into smaller pieces with a lawn mower, or taking the time to rake or blow them completely off the lawn.


3. One last thing you can do that will indirectly benefit your lawn over the Winter and into the Spring is to service your lawn care equipment.  This includes cleaning your machines, sharpening or replacing blades, and replacing any old and worn out equipment in preparation for next year.


Part of keeping a lovely landscape is keeping the lawn in peak condition.  Taking these steps to improve your lawns in the Fall and Winterizing the turf will greatly reward you in the Spring. 

Eric Readinger