Check out these lawn winterizing tips from the landscape pros at The Greenery on Hilton Head Island, and look for more ideas from The Greenery in the next edition of "On the Waterfront," the PSD's customer newsletter:
Hilton Head Island is known for its plush, eye-catching landscape during the warmer months. But what you do to prepare your lawn for cooler weather is what will ensure your lawn will be healthy and green come spring.
Around now, the middle of November you should fertilize your lawn one last time. Be sure to look for a fertilizer low in nitrogen and phosphorus, but high in potassium. The goal of fertilizing the grass during the fall is not to create a lush, green lawn, but to nourish the roots.
The last step in the lawn treatment process is to put down a fall pre-emergent weed control. Do this within a week after you fertilize. The pre-emergent will deter winter weeds from establishing in your lawn. Make sure you have these steps in the proper order: fertilize and then pre-emergent weed control. If you perform the treatments out of order, your lawn could end up looking like a checkerboard of weeds.
If you wish to keep your lawn looking green over the winter months, consider over-seeding with rye grass in mid November. We only recommend overseeding if you have Bermuda or zoysia grass. You can find a basic drop spreader at most home improvement stores.
It is not a good idea to overseed if your turf is centipede or St. Augustine because those two grass types are highly susceptible to fungus. The rye grass will compete with the centipede and St. Augustine for moisture come spring, and do more harm than good. If you are unsure of what type of grass you have, you can contact The Greenery and someone will come identify the turf.
If you do overseed your Bermuda or zoysia grass, water your lawn every day for 10 to 15 minutes for the first two weeks. Then cut back to watering for 10 to 15 minutes only twice a week. Once the grass is established, water only once a week for the same 10 to 15 minutes.