Landscaping Tips - Green Grass Grows - Part 2

Last month recommendations for mowing and watering to maintain a beautiful winter lawn were highlighted.  Now it is time to include fertilizing, the last of the three key components to keeping a healthy lush green lawn through the winter.


  • Your winter lawn will require fertilizing, just like your summer lawn.
  • Two weeks after seedling emergence, fertilize with ammonium phosphate (16-20-0) at 5 lbs./1000 ft2.
  • Always water immediately after applying fertilizer to prevent foliar burning and to ensure the fertilizer moves into the root zone.
  • To keep your winter lawn at its best, fertilize every four to six weeks with a complete fertilizer.
  • If iron deficiency becomes a problem, use a product containing iron that is chelated or chemically formulated to work well on our high pH soils.  Some products containing iron may stain concrete or cool decking so be careful during application.

Finally, the best way to protect and fortify your lawn is through proper seasonal care and maintenance and while most winter lawns are trouble free, on occasion problems may arise.


  • Over-fertilization and/or over watering tend to weaken your turf’s root system and cause it to become weaker over time which in turn can increase a likelihood of frost damage, disease occurrence, and necessitate extra mowing.
  • Mow winter lawns when grass is dry to minimize spread of disease.  By wounding the plant through mowing, while it is wet you increase the likelihood of fungal infection. In addition, you increase the likelihood of spreading the fungus on the blades and tires of the mower and on your shoes.
  • Some diseases that may occur are Pythium blight (usually caused when the leaf surface is continuously wet) or powdery mildew (typically found in shady areas).  There are several effective chemicals available for treatment.
  • Do not water at night.
  • Winter grasses do not have thatch build up that require thinning or removal.
  • A healthy lawn will push out weeds and keep them to a minimum. The best defense against weeds is to have a good dense stand of grass.  Hand pull weeds if possible. Otherwise,  there are a number of excellent chemical on the market.
  • We are fortunate to have very few winter grass related insect problems.