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Preparing for Frozen Turf

turf, mowers, aeration, fertilization

This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is preparing turf for cold weather.

The process of preparing turf for the winter months must include a discussion of grounds inspections, staffing, and scheduling strategies, all with the goal of ensuring crews can carry out their winter-preparation tasks efficiently and cost-effectively.

Late summer or early fall is the best time for managers to assess turf areas and determine the strengths and weaknesses of their turf-management program.

First, determine the criteria for judging the health and appearance of the turf. In setting up turf evaluations, it is best to set specific standards so that all evaluators are on the same page. Among the areas to consider: color, density, weeds, mowing, thatch and soil.

Following inspections and evaluations of turf areas, managers can begin scheduling actions for improving the grounds. Fall is a great time to complete lawn renovations, including aeration, dethatching, overseeding, slit seeding, topdressing, fertilization, and weed control.

During slow times, workers can inspect turf-care equipment, including mowers, spreaders, sprayers, aerators, seeders, and irrigation systems. And finally, don’t forget to monitor the irrigation system during the fall and winter. Typically, irrigation needs decrease with cooler weather.

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