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Winter Grass Care Guide by Grass Type

Jan 11, 2023

Find out what kind of grass type you have and how to properly care for it during the winter months

Do you know what type of grass is present on your lawn? If not, you’re not alone. However, learning to care for your specific grass type can be a game-changer when it comes to the health and vitality of your turf, as different grass types have varying requirements when it comes to cutting height, watering needs, and more. Follow along to find out how to properly care for your lawn this winter season.


Kentucky Bluegrass

Poa pratensis, also known as Kentucky Bluegrass, is a dark green grass that is grown mainly in the northern regions due to its ability to survive long periods of cold weather. Bluegrass is an all-year-round type of grass and can be easy grass to maintain but it can go dormant during the hottest periods of the summer. Proper watering can keep it green during the hot summer months, but it can withstand up to 6 weeks of Dormancy before possible damage. 


How to care for your Kentucky Bluegrass in the winter

If your lawn does suffer from heat or drought damage then the fall is the best time to overseed and fill in the areas before winter. This will help keep our lawn thick in healthy come springtime and help prevent weeds from taking over the lawn. Also, to help prevent winter damage from snow molds or damage due to Moles the lawn mustn’t be left too long over the winter. Typically, as the lawns start to slow down their growth in the fall, you want to start working the cutting height down from the summer months of 3 inches (8 cm) to less than 2 inches (5 cm) in height.


Your local Weed Man knows the right timing to apply a winter fertilizer to help it through the winter months. Weed Man uses the best fertilizer with a healthy balance of nutrients so that your lawn takes in precisely what it needs when it needs it. Also, having your lawn professionally fertilized before the season starts is very important as well. A healthy lawn is less prone to weeds as it outcompetes the weeds for space when it is thick and healthy. 


Winter damage can also be reduced if your lawn can properly drain and prevent the pooling of water/the formation of ice. Snow coverage itself is nothing to worry about. Snow will help insulate your lawn from cold temperatures and drying winds, which will assist in keeping your grass healthy for spring!



Turf Type Tall Fescue


Turf Type Tall Fescue is a cool-season grass that is more heat and shade tolerant. It is common in both northern and southern regions. The root system on tall fescue grass is extensive, reaching 2-3 feet deep, which is larger than any other cool-season grass type. Compared to Kentucky Bluegrass, Turf Type Tall Fescue establishes itself a bit easier from seed as it germinates much faster. 


How to care for your Turf Type Tall Fescue grass in the winter


In northern regions, your lawn may be blanketed with snow; in this case, not much can be done until the snow melts. In some cases, snow can be beneficial for your lawn as it acts as a natural insulator, protecting your turf from drying winds. 


In southern regions, it is important to keep maintaining your lawn. Continue to water your turf so that it can receive all the nutrients it needs to survive until spring. It’s common to get enough participation throughout the winter season so a supplement typically is not required. Also, maintain standard mowing heights of 2-3 inches. In the southern range of Turf Type Tall Fescue, the growth will slow during these winter months, but it may not stop entirely depending on the winter weather! 



Hybrid Bermudagrass

Hybrid Bermudagrass is a warm-season grass typically found in southern and tropical regions. This grass type is more sensitive to cooler temperatures, which is why it thrives more in the south. It has excellent drought, heat, and humidity tolerance and features an extensive root system that can reach 6 feet deep. 


Dormancy in Hybrid Bermudagrass


Hybrid Bermudagrass will typically go dormant and brown during winter. It is important to note that your lawn isn’t dead, it’s just dormant! Your lawn will return to peak health once temperatures rise. Your lawn naturally goes into hibernation mode when it does not receive enough resources, such as sunlight or water. Dormancy acts as a method of conserving moisture, which protects the grass from seasonal damage.


To properly care for your dormant Bermudagrass, you should not forget about it entirely! Your lawn needs nutrients during winter, as the roots will be active and growing. Continue to water your lawn – just ensure you drop your water volume by half so you are not overwatering. Fertilizer is also very beneficial to lay on your turf so that the roots can collect those nutrients and flourish for spring! Weed Man only uses slow-release fertilizers that will feed the turf as it needs it without pushing excessive growth which can be harmful to the turf over the winter months. 



St. Augustine


Like Hybrid Bermudagrass, St. Augustine is also a warm-season grass type and is most popular across southern states. The turf is not very cold-hardy and will begin to go dormant once temperatures get below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). It is important to remember that turf in the dormancy phase is necessary to regain health come spring.


To care for your St. Augustine turf this winter season, ensure that you are not overwatering. In the southern regions, it’s common to get participation throughout the season, as a result, supplement how much you water based on rain frequency.



Not seeing your grass type listed? Contact your local Weed Man team today for expert advice on properly caring for your lawn this winter season!