Put the shorts and swimsuits away, winter is coming! And while you’re getting the inside of your home ready for cooler weather, don’t forget to get your yard ready as well! Sprinkler system winterization is a must for any cold weather states with risk of freezing, but that’s not the only thing you should do to put your yard to bed for the winter. Follow these tips to keep your lawn happy and healthy all winter long.
Feed Your Roots
Fall is the perfect time to give a little extra attention to your grass. When temperatures cool down, grass can redirect its energy from photosynthesis to growing deeper roots. Deeper roots make for a stronger plant that needs less water and survives in rough conditions. Do this by applying lawn nutrients like Rachio Thrive and follow the next winterization tips.
Resist the urge to cut it short! Don’t stress out your grass right before it goes into hibernation. Let it grow a tad so it can provide some insulation (and keep those roots growing), but don’t let it get so long that the snow and frost will give you a matted mess in the spring. Most cool season grasses should be at around 2 – 2 ½ inches tall for healthy hibernation.
Leave the Leaves
Well, not all of them. Don’t block the sun from getting to your grass with a lawn blanketed in leaves. It’s worth taking a rake to those leaves, but don’t feel like you have to remove them all. Leaf materials decompose into the lawn and provide useful nutrients for roots during the winter months.
Sprinkler System Winterization
Last but not least, put your sprinkler system to sleep for the winter! Start by draining your pipes –a fairly easy task to DIY, but one which Pros often do as part of their sprinkler winterization packages. Watch below for a quick demo on draining your pipes:
Once your pipes are drained, you’ll want to blow out your system to make sure that any lingering water is gone before the first freeze. Systems with above ground piping, an RP (reduced pressure) backflow, or a PVB (pressure vacuum breaker) backflow are pretty vulnerable to freeze, which can cost hundreds of dollars to fix. We recommend reaching out to an irrigation professional (or a Certified Rachio Pro) to help with this. While it’s possible to DIY, you’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment and expertise so you don’t damage your system. Check out this video to learn more about the DIY blowout process.
While burst pipes can cost hundreds of dollars to fix or replace, a Pro can help protect your sprinklers with a system blow out for, on average, under $100. It’s definitely worth it in our book to make sure your system is prepared for the cold! Rachio can help by making it easy to cycle through your zones and put your lawn to bed quickly and safely.
Don’t waste your time, energy, and money dealing with burst pipes in the spring. Lawn and sprinkler winterization is important and can save you a lot of headaches once the warmer weather comes. Need help this year? Install a Rachio 3 and call a Certified Rachio Pro.