Cooler weather has arrived here in Oklahoma, a sure sign that winter is on the way. But just because the days are colder and the nights are longer doesn’t mean your lawn needs to be forgotten. You may be thinking about storing your mowers for their winter nap, but you should hold off – at least until you’ve made sure that your lawn grass is ready for winter.
It may be easy to ignore, but it’s important to remember that your last few mows will define how your lawn greets the winter months – especially its height. As a result, we at GreenPro wanted to share some thoughts about how to make sure your lawn is ready to go dormant.
Proper Height is Important
Long grass can look messy; however, resist the urge to cut your lawn short. While it can be tempting to give your lawn, a good buzz cut ahead of winter, cutting your lawn short puts stress on your grass; this can ultimately cause more harm than letting it grow. You don’t want your grass going into hibernation early, or being so stressed that it starts to die. Make sure your lawn is growing to the proper height.
What’s the Proper Height?
After you cut your grass the last time, your lawn should be around 2 1/2″ in length (depending on the type of grass you own). This length holds for most cool season turfs such as Kentucky bluegrass. Bermuda and bent grass lengths should be even shorter – approximately 1 1/2 to 2″ in length. Grass that is any higher than 3″ in length may “mat” or compress under snowfall. This “matting” can cause issues in the spring, such as snow mold or other fungi.
Proper Mowing Techniques
Oklahoma falls can get wet, and it may be difficult to stay on top of mowing in the fall months. As a result, while it’s important to get to that 2 1/2″ in length if your grass is exceptionally tall, it may take a few mows to get there. Many gardeners may know that you should never take more than a third of the grass blade off during one mowing. As a result, measure your grass and plan your lawn care appropriately. Don’t be afraid to take a few mows if, for example, you need to get down from 3 1/2″ to 2 1/2″. Be sure to allow several days between mows for your grass to recover from the stress.
Should I Remove Thatch?
Many homeowners will be tempted to remove clippings and dead grass blades with a heavy leaf raking. You should resist this temptation, however, since removing the thatch layer can often damage the turf plant’s living crown. This damage can sometimes be so severe that it can cause brown spots or even kill parts of the grass. We hope these tips are helpful as you contemplate getting your lawn ready for fall and winter. Because our clients often have different types of grasses in their lawns, GreenPro customizes our lawn care for individualized cases. Have questions about caring for your lawn in the fall months? Give GreenPro a call; we’d be happy to work with you!