Maintaining a Healthy Lawn During Winter


A deer in a backyard.Winter is not yet over, but we are eagerly looking toward spring when all the outdoor plants will come to life. In the meantime, regularly walk properties to inspect boxwoods and rhododendrons for signs of winter stress.

Proper lawn care throughout the year, including watering, mulching, and protecting against extreme conditions, can help minimize the risk of winter damage.

At the start of winter, anti-desiccant sprays are beneficial to preserve evergreen foliage from excessive winter drying.

We need to protect our ornamentals from deer at certain times of the year. Living on a property surrounded by woods, I have been known to press my face against the window, just like my kids, when a family of deer meanders into our backyard. They are majestic with their graceful movements, soft features, and impressive antler crowns. Unfortunately, deer also enjoy dining on the landscaping in our front garden beds, leaving behind ticks.

If you do not have fencing around your property, deer repellent should be considered a regular home maintenance routine. During winter, especially in February, deer are likelier to become voracious eaters of shrubs, trees, and other vegetation near residential areas. This can cause issues with the aesthetics and survival of homeowner ornamentals.

Deer can also play a huge role in the spread of ticks that might carry Lyme disease. As a deer enters residential properties, ticks using the deer as a host may detach and remain in the surrounding vegetation. Ticks survive year-round; therefore, the cold weather will not eliminate this issue. When homeowners are more active outdoors in the spring and summer, the ticks will resurface and become a potential health hazard.

Reducing deer activity in certain areas of your property will help minimize the risk of tick-borne diseases.

Deer repellent sprays have been curated to deter deer from browsing on plants and landscaping while safeguarding properties. The repellent is sprayed onto the plant surfaces, covering the entirety of the plant, including leaves and stems. Typically, a repellent leaves an unpleasant taste that will discourage the deer.

Various commercial products are available, and I highly recommend researching beforehand to obtain the best deer repellent based on your personal preferences and needs. Deer repellent should be sprayed before significant feeding issues and kept on schedule to maintain consistent coverage. Different repellents have varying durations of effectiveness, with most only lasting 90 days.

As spring emerges, servicing your lawn mower is essential to ensure it runs smoothly and efficiently.

Regular maintenance helps prolong the life of the mower and ensures it performs at its best. Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions on maintenance and servicing and seek professional help for yearly service.

To maintain engine performance, change the oil accordingly. Have the air filter, spark plugs, belts, and pulleys inspected. If your blades have become dull, sharpen, or replace them to maintain a healthy lawn. This will help eliminate uneven cutting, brown and frayed edges, stress on the grass, and disease susceptibility.

Guest contributor - AbbieAbbie is a multifaceted individual with a passion for diverse pursuits. Raised in a family with deep ties to the lawn care industry at Smiths Lawn LLP, she cultivated a robust work ethic and passion for fostering lush green environments. Beyond helping neighbors cultivate vibrant green lawns, you will find Abbie hosting “The Disney Hour Express” podcast, engaging in insightful conversations with her husband, Rob, and co-owner of their travel agency, Family Travel Planner. She is a champion for the rights and well-being of women facing domestic violence. She extends her passion for writing to raise funds for non-profit organizations benefiting Fairfield County families in need.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here