Winter is the season of snow, freezing rain, and slushy roads. In order to keep the public safe, de-icing materials are used on our highways and roadways. Many homeowners also use these chemicals on paths, steps, and driveways on their property. While they do make driving and walking safer, the chemicals in these de-icers can damage lawns and plantings as the ingredients seep into the ground. Read on to follow some simple steps to avoid lawn damage due to deicing and road chemicals.
- Don’t pile up snow in the same locations. It is common for homeowners to have a routine of where snow is piled in their yard. Try to spread it around for each storm if at all possible to keep the same areas from getting a high concentration of snow and chemicals.
- Create a barrier out of netting or plastic that can keep snow and ice melt from blowing or drifting on to your lawn.
- Remove the snow as it falls so it does not have a chance to freeze. This way you will need less deicer.
- Keep sewer drains open and free of snow so that the melting snow has somewhere to go rather than just in your lawn.
- Use a salt alternative such as kitty litter or sand from your town’s DPW. Choose a deicing agent that is safe for landscapes. These products are healthier for the environment and allow for traction on icy areas.
- Only use what you need. Many homeowners go with the idea that, “More is better.” This is not true when it comes to deicing materials. Only use enough to get the ice to melt, then remove excess through sweeping into a trash bin.
- As the spring approaches and the sunny days get milder, try watering down the salt content with water. Make sure it is during a mild spell so the water does not refreeze.
Questions about your lawn and deicing chemicals? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.
While we all hunker down for the winter, it can be fun to watch some of the wildlife as they, too, try to stay warm and make it through the storms and temperature changes. If you have wildlife that like to visit your yard, there are some actions that you may want to take to both enjoy watching the critters and keep your lawn and garden safe. Continue reading to find out more about winter wildlife and what they may mean for your yard.
Some common animals that may find your yard appealing during the winter months include deer, coyotes, birds, and animals who may have awoken prematurely from their slumber due to an increase in temperature. These could include skunks, raccoons, gophers, and moles.
As you watch from the window, you may consider helping these creatures by putting out food so they have some sustenance. However, one of the main warnings from the Mass Gov website about feeding these animals is that it does way more harm than good. Environmental and wildlife experts say, “While people have good intentions, supplemental feeding of wildlife typically does more harm than good.”
Here are a few of the reasons why this is not a good practice:
- Feeding wildlife tends to congregate them in one area making the spread of disease more rampant and allows for predators to more easily find their prey.
- Feeding wildlife can attract them to a certain yard or area where grass and plantings can be trampled and eaten as well.
- Competition over food being put out can cause aggression between wildlife.
- Wildlife may need to travel distances to get to your yard, wasting energy and potentially crossing roads that will put them in further danger.
If you find that you have any of these wildlife in your area, watch and enjoy but allow them to do their instinctual thing and survive the way they know how. If the wildlife is destroying your yard, you may want to install barriers to protect your bushes and plantings.
We all know about mowing, raking, and feeding our lawns, especially in the spring and summer. But did you know that lawn care is a year-round activity? In order for your lawn and plantings to look healthy and strong, there are actions that homeowners should be taking during each season. Let’s take a closer look at how to care for your lawn throughout all four seasons.
This is the time of year to prep for the upcoming growing season. Before planting, be sure to check when the expected last freeze will be as you do not want to start too early and lose your plantings to one last cold night. During the weeks before you can begin mowing, you may want to do the following tasks:
- Clean up the yard by raking out leftover leaves from the fall.
- Sharpen mower blades.
- Repair or tune up other yard equipment like trimmers and aerators.
- This may be a good time to aerate your lawn and allow for the nutrients, water, and oxygen that the roots need to reach their target.
- Fertilize in the early spring.
- Dethatch any areas of the lawn that look thick with dead grass.
Now that the growing season is in full swing, you will want to maintain the yard with some common activities that may be needed weekly such as mowing, trimming back bushes and edging the perimeter of your lawn. Water regularly depending upon the needs of your grass and the climate in your region. In addition to these weekend activities we also suggest:
- Summer fertilization if not done before this point.
- Treatment for grubs and other pests who may be making their way into the lawn.
This is a season highlighted by continued mowing, trimming, edging, watering, and feeding the lawn. The largest activity is keeping the grass from being choked by the falling leaves. Keep the lawn clear so that the lawn can continue to absorb any fertilizer, water, and nutrients. The winter is when these ingredients will be needed to survive.
You may think your job is done during this season but there are a few things to complete before heading indoors.
- Clean off the lawn. This includes patio furniture, swings, hammocks, garden gnomes, and other items that will kill the grass.
- Keep the de-icing products off your lawn as much as possible throughout the winter.
- Clean and store all equipment. This may include having lawn equipment tuned up or repaired.
- Have irrigation systems professionally shut down and blown out.
Wondering if you are doing the right thing for your lawn? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.