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Grass Cycling in Winter for Warm-Season Lawns

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

If you're blessed to live in a region of the country that enjoys temperate winters, you have plenty to do to keep your lawn healthy during the colder months. Come February, if you have a warm-season grass, you might consider the first application of a nitrogen fertilizer for the New Year. Continue watering, even at lengthened intervals and consider broadleaf herbicides if you're plagued with chickweed or henbit. Why not perform grass cycling through the winter, too, to cut maintenance costs and generate a healthy lawn?

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The grass clippings left behind from mowing are comprised of more than 75 percent water, which means less watering during winter months if you allow them to decompose on the lawn. Clippings are also a powerful source of nutrients, and can save you up to a quarter of your total annual nitrogen fertilizer needs.

More About Winter Grass Cycling

Did you know that yard waste can make up as much as 20 percent of the total volume in your local landfill? If there is anything you should throw away, it's that old myth that lawn clippings add to thatch. In truth, thatch is comprised of grass stems, roots, and crowns. The lawn clippings decompose atop the soils and create mulch that retains nutrients and valuable moisture.

According to The University of California Cooperative Extension, grass cycling does not contribute to disease vulnerability. To produce a healthy layer of grass clippings, be sure to use a sharp mowing blade. Mow only when your winter lawn is dry and never cut off more than a third of the total leaf surface.


University of California Cooperative Extension

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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