With the busy holiday season preparations for Thanksgiving and Christmas now in full swing, we may not be giving much thought to our lawns, even though for many they have pretty much ceased foliar growth. However, does that mean we can put closure to our lawn mowing chores? Not if you want your lawn to have that neat groomed appearance throughout the winter.
Even though much of your lawn may have already gone dormant, there will be localized areas with southern exposure, or otherwise been protected, and will require a hard killing frost or freeze to completely shut down growth.
As we rake leaves from the lawn we often lift grass blades of unequal lengths creating an uneven turf canopy. Therefore, once the last leaves have been raked and the lawn has gone completely dormant, a final mowing slightly higher than the normal summer mowing height will leave a nice clean appearance to the turf canopy. For those lawns that did not receive a fall pre-emergent herbicide application, winter weeds are already beginning to appear and you will probably need to plan on a post-emerge herbicide application to control these weeds or keep the lawn mower ready to mow throughout the winter.
Published November 2, 2009
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org