Despite the mild winter temperatures in Arizona, preparing your lawn for the winter season looks much like the rest of the country. Grand Canyon State lawns still need to be cared for, despite not seeing freezing temperatures. Consider these tips for winterizing your yard in Arizona:
- Overseed With Cool Season Grass
Most Arizona lawns use warm season grasses, like Bermudagrass, meaning that they grow best under hot conditions. Some warm season grasses may go dormant during the winter making them an eyesore in the neighborhood. Overseeding your warm season lawn with a cool season grass variety, like Annual Ryegrass, is a great technique to support a green lawn throughout the colder months.
- Fill in Bare Spots
Before it gets too cold, fill in bare spots of the lawn that have seen a lot of wear and tear. These areas could be thinning spots with the soil easily showing or completely bare with no grass at all. Take care to spread seed in these areas to fill in the grass and promote even growth. Bare spots are notorious for becoming weed prone so make sure to cover them up with healthy grass seedlings as quickly as possible. Water the seeds daily to help them take root and sprout before winter arrives.
- Let Clippings Fly
Arizona lawns will still need to be mowed throughout winter, especially if you have decided to overseed with a cool season grass. Make sure to mow your lawn invariably as your particular grass type requires it. To protect the root system, never take off more than 30% off the grass blade. Instead of bagging up grass clippings, mow the lawn without the bag, allowing the clippings to fly back onto the grass. These clippings provide your yard with added nitrogen which helps to strengthen the overall condition of the lawn during winter. If you’d rather not do it yourself, you can hire a local lawn care professional for only $48 per service, according to data from LawnStarter.
- Add Energy Sources
Feeding the lawn is a great way to help winterize the yard. A slow release fertilizer in either granule or pellet form will provide your lawn with long-lasting energy. These fertilizers help support the root systems of the lawn and create a food source for hungry roots come spring. Make sure to follow directions carefully when spreading fertilizer to avoid creating burn spots in areas where too much fertilizer is applied.
- Continue Watering
Many Arizona homeowners think that watering isn’t important in the winter given the cooler temperatures. However, water is an essential part of making sure that added fertilizer and nutrients can benefit the soil and grass systems. Consider changing your watering schedule to just once a week during the winter to provide your lawn with a long soak under mild conditions. Additionally, be sure to follow your city’s watering guidelines. Remember, forgetting to water the lawn in winter can be detrimental to any Arizona yard.
- Aerate the Soil
Many Arizona homeowners choose to aerate the soil of their yard once every two years. Aeration allows essential nutrients, like sunlight, water, and fertilizer, to penetrate deep down into the soil to the grassroots. Aerating can be done by renting a machine that will cut out cylindrical tubes of soil all over the lawn. Alternatively, this can be done manually using spiked aeration shoes or by simply cutting the soil with a shovel.
Practicing year round lawn care in Arizona is necessary to maintain strong and healthy lawn growth. Overseed the lawn and fill in bare spots to keep the lawn full year-round. Adding essential nutrients with fertilizer applications, watering, and grass clippings will help provide enough energy for the grass to survive. Aerating the soil is also a good idea for homeowners who want to create a strong grass root system. Consider all of these tips for winterizing your yard in Arizona this cold season. –Kristina Phelan