Is it too early to start thinking about your lawn? Maybe not, especially with the lack of moisture Colorado has yet to receive this winter. We know, Colorado is home to dry climate, but this year is unusually dry. We can cross our fingers, wishfully anticipate heavy snow throughout February, March, and even April, but Colorado always has the final say about which weather it decides to bring.
Without a blanket of snow coating our lawns, we must succumb to the sight of dull, brown lawns every time we leave the house. Although there is not too much that can be done at this time of year, there are some preparations to be made to help accelerate the greening process our lawns undergo come spring time.
Signs and symptoms of an unhealthy lawn are:
- Of course, changing colors from lush green to brittle brown
- Imprinting on the lawn after the lawn contact with any type of pressure, such as footprints
- Wilting grass, visible by folded over blades
Dying and dead grass is not easily recoverable. This is why proactive care is so much more important than reactive care. Yes, it may still be winter, but without persistent snowfall, it is easy to prepare your lawn for maximum moisture retention.
There’s no need to overwater … just yet. Actually, your lawn only needs about one inch of precipitation per week, and during a drought this measure can be reduced to as little as ¼ of an inch. After the drought is over, with just 1/4-inch of watering, a lawn is able to rejuvenate once rain begins to fall again.
If you fall into the group of people who consider a beautiful lawn as a prize possession, consider implementing the following practices for making sure your lawn is as healthy and ready for spring showers (or snow storms).
Dethatch: Dethatching refers the removal of dead grass. This process breaks up blades of grass, so the portion which is dead does not prevent the living from receiving moisture.
Early morning watering: Usually, is it an option to water at night or during the early morning. Both options allow for the soil to retain moisture longer, but during this time of year it is probably best to water during the morning so your lawn retains the most moisture without freezing.
Aerate: Aerating loosens and separates the soil, which helps the soil retain more moisture. The main benefit of this is for the grass roots to absorb as much of the precipitation as possible.
Mow: It may feel awkward to mow the lawn in February. Honestly, it probably is; however, whenever you do mow the lawn, make sure you are cutting the grass high. Longer blades allows the soil to retain moisture longer. Shorter blades of grass leave less protection between the soil and the climate, so moisture is more likely to evaporate than if the blades were longer.
The main point to drive home is, during droughts or drought-like conditions, grass loses most water through the leaves than what it has access to absorb through the roots. It is not too early to begin prepping your lawn, and regular maintenance, even if it is in the winter, helps to prevent dry lawns throughout the spring and summer.