Patience is a Virtue: 3 Lawn Care Tasks to Postpone Until Spring
The new year is officially here, and many people are setting resolutions to help them improve their lives in 2022. Some people pledge to eat healthy and get in shape; others are dedicating their year to learning new skills and seeking new adventures. For us, improving our gardens and honing our lawn care knowledge are at the top of the list.
According to a survey cited by the University of Illinois, a staggering 42 percent of respondents spent more time in their yards in 2020 and planned to keep their hands in the soil in 2021. While we’ve been stuck at home, our gardens have become our own little patches of paradise, giving us space to relax, play with our pets, and break away from the monotony of staying inside. Now that so many people have become enamored with landscaping and gardening as hobbies, they’re seeking ways to improve their skills and get their yards greener than ever.
But before you get too carried away with your green thumb resolutions, remember that it’s important to time out your lawn maintenance tasks appropriately. Read on to learn about a few gardening and yard care tasks that you should postpone until after winter subsides.
Why These Tasks Aren’t for the Winter
Here in Florida, we don’t have much of a winter compared to our neighbors in other parts of the country. With that in mind, it may be tempting to knock out some of your spring and summer lawncare tasks in the early months of the year. However, whether the temperature drops significantly or not, your lawn needs to go into a period of dormancy. Dormancy is a period of recuperation in which your lawn isn’t actively growing, so it uses less water and redirects its nutrients to developing a stronger root system.
Even if our winter remains fairly mild here in Central Florida, holding off on warmer-season tasks can help prevent shock to your grass and help it to remain healthy for years to come.
Avoid These Tasks Until Spring
As a rule of thumb, you should only fertilize your grass while it’s actively growing. According to the University of Florida, North and Central Florida’s active growing season takes place from about March through October or November. If you’re not careful, applying fertilizer during the dormant season may cause your lawn to burn.
Keep in mind that many locations in Florida have additional restrictions on the right times to fertilize your lawn to minimize the amount of chemicals sloughing off into waste water. Check with your local government to learn about fertilizer restrictions in your area. It’s also important to choose the right fertilizer for your lawn’s unique needs, so the winter is a good time to study up before you make a purchase!
Walking on the lawn
This point is a bigger issue for those homeowners who experience frost and snow. Walking on grass when it’s frozen can cause the blades to shatter, causing severe damage and opening the possibility for diseases and pests to make their way in. Still, your dormant lawn doesn’t have the energy needed to repair itself as quickly during the winter, so now is not the time to increase your foot traffic or put new outdoor furniture in your garden. Keep your foot and vehicle traffic to a minimum until the spring, if possible.
Aerating your lawn
We’ve spoken at length about the importance of aeration for a healthy lawn with a strong root system. Aeration helps to break up impacted soil and allows air, water, and nutrients to deeply penetrate the soil. However, aeration can be a big stressor since you’re punching holes in the ground and jarring some of your grass’s roots in the process. This, along with any other lawncare tasks that may stress your grass, should be postponed until the active growing season when your lawn can recover without extra effort.
Plan Your Next Lawn Care Moves
Overall, winter is the best time to plan your next lawncare moves as you wait for your grass to start growing again. Hold off on any tasks that may damage weakened grass while its defense systems aren’t at peak performance. Spend the next couple of months getting the equipment you need, mapping out your dream garden, and maintaining your tools for the best results.
If you need repairs or maintenance on your power equipment, Gator’s got it! We offer the widest selection of OEM parts for commercial and home-use lawn care equipment in Central Florida. To learn more, call us at 407-260-1292 today.