Almost all lawns, both in the North and in the South – will react to the cooler weather that we experience in the fall months by entering a period of dormancy. And all annual lawn care programs should include an application of winterizer in the fall if your grass type permits.
But what exactly is winterizer, and why is important to the lawn? Well, winterizing has several benefits.
First, it strengthens grass roots for winter. During the fall, grass is actually storing nutrients for the cold weather that is approaching. This is typical of most perennials, and most turfgrasses are perennials with the exception of a few like annual ryegrass.
When plants, like grass, are storing energy the single most important nutrient at that time is phosphorus. Its key role is in the storage and transfer of energy within the plant and root growth – and that is what grass is doing in the late fall. Phosphorus also promotes strong roots and it helps grass become more tolerant of diseases, heat, cold and drought.
A winterizer application also has the right amount of nitrogren, the key ingredient in keeping grass green. Lawn grasses use nitrogen more than any other nutrient. Insufficient nitrogen also makes a lawn more prone to disease problems, which is even more important heading into winter (and the following spring). However, the grass is slowing down its growth, so the winterizer application should have the right amount of nitrogen.
Finally, winterizer has a healthy dose of potassium, which helps to protect the lawn during winter as it promotes tolerance to cold weather and foot traffic, which can severly damage a lawn during extremely cold weather.
Add it all up, and winterizer has just what lawns need for the winter months and to be ready for spring.
And if weeds are a problem, then late fall presents the ideal time to get rid of them. Why? Because weeds are actively growing in the fall due to ideal weather conditions that are optimum for their growth, and weed products work best when weeds are actively growing. Second, stopping weed growth now means less weeds to deal with next spring. So if weeds are a problem in your lawn, consider applying winterizer with weed control instead. It will winterize your lawn while getting rid of those unwanted weeds.