It’s no secret that living organisms need water. Mites that might be in your soil beneath your lawn are no exception to the rule. During very dry winters, mites can easily obtain the moisture they require through consuming the roots of your grass. Imagine how this can destroy the potential for a beautiful healthy lawn come spring time. The solution is simple - water your lawn occasionally during dry winters.
Denver is currently about 5 inches behind the average normal precipitation (14.92 inches/year) as we approach the new year. This year has experienced 24 record high temperatures and 0 record lows. The average daily temperature these past 2 weeks has included 12 days well above normal temperatures and only 2 days slightly below normal. On the season so far, the daily average temperature has been above normal 225 days as compared to 106 days below normal. That’s an advantage of 119 heating up days as of December 3. Over the past 10 years, 8 years have been below the average for normal precipitation. (Data found at http://globalwarmingdenver.com/tot_precip.html) Lawns have been showing the stress of all these variables acting on them and it’s time to do something about it.
I never anticipated I would be writing about how important it might be to care for your lawn this winter. The routine with many, including myself, is to forget about lawn maintenance from November until the end of March. What could one possibly do during the winter to improve the health of their lawn?
In the beginning of a season, I occasionally get stopped by a customer and follow them to an area of their yard that is in poor shape. I noticed that usually the section of lawn we are analyzing is a slope facing south. All of these customers admit they don’t water their lawns during the winter. Following some research, I have come to learn that lawn mites and the damage they cause to grass roots can be combated with watering your lawn periodically during dry winter months when temperatures are above 40 degrees.
Watering a lawn during the winter doesn’t require one to fire up the sprinklers and risk bursting pipes when it freezes. Setting up a hose and sprinkler manually in those critical areas is the safest way since the hose can be easily drained and stored in the garage for the next time.
For your peace of mind, we should be getting rain or snow real soon because I just washed my truck. The act of washing one’s vehicle just “mite” be the most productive solution to get Mother Nature to fight our battles against lawn pests.