Different parts of the country deal with winter lawn care differently. For example, in the north, lawn care stops because of snow and ice. But, here in central California, winter lawn care is important because of seasonal rain. Cutting the grass can be an adventure for my wife and myself because of what is important to us. Our attempt at winter lawn care is our next senior adventure.
Why Winter Lawn Care?
Would you rather cut grass or shovel snow during the winter. I have done both. Believe me. I prefer winter lawn care to shoveling snow. In this part of California, winter means rain. But, a few day of rain is always followed by several bright, sunny days that help the grass grow.
Our parkway shows several reasons for winter lawn care. There are lots of leaves on the ground. As well, the grass is long and the edging between sidewalk and grass looks terrible. My wife and I had some decisions to make about how to take care of the lawn.
Lawn Care Decisions
People make decisions about lawn care no matter what the season. Although I have been cutting lawns since I was 12 years old, it is only in the last few years that I have thought about the way I cut grass and do yard work. What I do in my yard is important.
Feeding for Winter Lawn Care
Over the years, I have used a lot of different fertilizers and mixes to grow strong, green grass with good roots. It never occurred to me that some of the things might be harmful and damage the land through run off. For some reason, I never thought about whether the fertilizer and other chemicals I used might harm a bird or animal.
I do not want to poison water or wildlife just for a green lawn. I look at three factors when choosing fertilizer for the lawn. First, I try to use only organic fertilizers. This does not just mean manure. Fertilizers can be made of shell, minerals, plants, blood, fish and bones in many combinations. Most organic fertilizer packages indicate the value as do chemical fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers often take long to be absorbed by the ground, but the nutrients added also last longer. Rain does not dilute most natural fertilizers. Animals are not harmed as they graze, walk or drink around these fertilizers. Organics come in all forms… liquid, pellet and chunk. The one draw back is that more is needed.
In many parts of the country, watering is not an issue for lawn care. In California, water is a year round issue. There have even been moratoriums on watering lawns. So, as we take of our lawn and garden, my wife and I are careful not to waste water.
We use good, timers when watering the lawn in the middle of the night for the least amount of evaporation. All our sprinklers are in good shape so that water is only on the lawn and garden.
Finally, as we repair our lawn, we only use drought resistance grass seed. When we are advised to cut back on watering or to stop altogether because of water shortage, our grass is healthy with minimal watering and usually comes back if it dries out. Even if you live where there seems to be a lot of water available, use of this precious resource responsibly.
Power Garden Tools
Most people has some kind of power garden tool. My wife and I use a weedwacker, leaf blower, lawn mower, and an edger. For us, the question is the power source. For the most part we are using battery powered tools. We still have a gas lawnmower. It’s over 30 years old and we are cheap. So, we have putting off getting a battery powered mower until spring.
We are switching from gas to battery power for several reasons. Gas is inconvenient and messy. We have to store gas. Even for the amount used, it is expensive. Mainly, we are trying, even in this small way, to cut down on green house gas emissions.
The Environment Matters
California is planning to eliminate sales of new gas powered engines by 20 33. This may be an overly optimistic goal, but the motivation to cut down on green house emissions is good.
For many years, it didn’t seem to me that a bit of a gas or oil spilled mattered. I didn’t think the small amount of exhaust from my lawn tools meant anything. My wife and I realized that on our small street, on our small block, in our small town, etc, most people have gas powered lawn tools. I have spilled a lot of gas and oil and a lot of exhaust. So, we are using a battery powered mower after this season.
I am old. So, we agreed that a self-propelled mower would be best. After a great deal of research, we settled on the EGO Power self-propelled model because it has a 56 volt battery which provides about 4 hours of lawn cutting time. My gas mower relates to horse power not volts. As well, with the battery mower, there is no more mixing gas with oil or adding oil… just unplug, throw the switch and cut grass.
Thinking about Winter Lawn Care
I don’t just fire up the old gas garden tools without a thought now. Well, I still do fire up the old gas mower, but I feel bad about it. I think about what I put on my lawn and in my garden to make it healthy. No matter what the state of California says about the water situation, I think about and control how much water I use on my lawn. Besides that, I am converting to battery powered tools to eliminate some of the gasoline I use and reduce emissions.
Lawn care at anytime is a simple activity because tt’s pushing a mower, running an edger, water the lawn and feeding the grass. It’s simple but it should be done thoughtfully. The adventure is keeping the lawn looking great while thinking about the world. It was fun to share it with you.
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