All lawns have a susceptibility to lose at least some of their dark green color and health over Winter, this is due to the lawn going into a state of semi-dormancy, and in these times the lawn has no ability to continue to grow and stay in a green healthy state or to repair itself due to its slow growth rates in the cold weather.
Once Winter arrives, there is really nothing that can be done to significantly improve the health of our lawns. However, with good lawn care preparation prior to Winter, many of these problems can be overcome with success.
St Augustine Grass In Winter
St Augustine grass is no different than other lawn varieties in that it can often lose some of its dark green color and health over Winter. The problem faced by many Saint Augustine lawn owners is that if the lawn isn't properly cared for throughout the year - then it can become extremely pale when Winter arrives.
Preparing Saint Augustine Lawns For Winter
A green and healthy Saint Augustine lawn in winter is the result of our lawn care throughout the rest of the year.
The overall aim is to maintain good lawn care practices all year round which results in the optimum lawn health in Fall, prior to Winter arriving.
Let's face it, with everyone so busy these days, it's difficult to keep on top of everything we need to do in our lives, and our lawn care is no different. These few lawn care tips should simplify the basics of Winter lawn care for us so we can all maintain a green Saint Augustine lawn over the cooler months.
Winter Lawn Care
Fertilize Year Round
One of the biggest mistakes we all make is to forget to fertilize our lawns regularly, lawn fertilizers are the food and nutrients our lawns need, just like we need food and nutrients to thrive.
Adopting a good year round fertilizing program for our Saint Augustine lawn is essential. This usually involves applying a good quality fertilizer every 2-3 months (or much less frequently for slow release lawn fertilizers), and applying a Winter fertilizer one month before Winter arrives and one application 2-3 months later in the middle of Winter (or in Spring for slow release fertilizer).
Iron and Saint Augustine Lawns
Saint Augustine grass enjoys a slightly higher level of Iron than other lawn types. Iron is a Trace Element which should be found in all good quality lawn fertilizers. Iron aids greatly in maintaining a healthy dark green color to lawns.
An application of Iron supplement or combination Trace Elements may also be applied once or twice per year during the active growing seasons (not Winter), while aiming for an application in Fall, before Winter.
High Wind Areas
In the rare cases where watering is still required in Winter:
Saint Augustine lawns on a corner block or other areas which are subject to high winds should have their watering monitored to ensure sprinklers aren't wasting water which may otherwise be blown into the street. High wind areas will also subject the lawn soil to higher than average evaporation. Increased lawn watering times will correct this problem.
Lawn mowing heights should be increased prior to Winter arriving, this allows the longer green leaf to produce greater photosynthesis during the low light levels of Winter.
Lawn mowing should be continued on a regular basis right up to the onset of Winter, and then continued in Winter at less frequency if living in a region which doesn't frost over.
It doesn't matter if only a small amount of clippings are removed at each lawn mowing service, regular lawn mowing encourages lawns to produce more green leaf, and this will greatly help the Saint Augustine lawn to stay green and healthy throughout Winter.
Be sure not to mow if muddy conditions are present on the lawn.
Other Winter Lawn Care Practices
Green healthy Saint Augustine lawns are totally dependent on good lawn care practices throughout the year. By following good lawn care regimens and rectifying problems such as clay soils, water repellent soils and soil nutrients in the growing seasons, we can greatly enhance our Winter lawn care and have a beautiful Saint Augustine lawn throughout the year.