One of the many benefits of living in Southern California is that we can enjoy entertaining and spending time with family in our outdoor living areas any time of the year. For those who have replaced their natural grass with artificial turf lawns, this includes the ability to hang out or entertain on our lawns even during or right after it rains. This makes artificial grass a great choice for winter outdoor living and the perfect spot for everything from play dates to dinner parties, regardless of the weather.
Artificial grass is also a low-maintenance landscaping option that requires much less time and effort than natural grass. Generally, homeowners who choose manufactured lawns can simply perform a little regular cleaning and maintenance to keep their lawns looking lush and inviting. For winter entertaining, there is the added benefit of using our outdoor living spaces without worrying about guests traipsing through mud to get to the party or children and pets tracking mud and wet blades of grass into the house.
Preparing your synthetic turf lawn for winter requires little more than performing the regular maintenance you would perform each month anyways, plus a couple of extra tasks to make sure your lawn is ready for both playing and partying when the temperature drops.
How to Prepare Your Artificial Grass Lawn for Winter
1. Remove Dust and Debris: The first step in preparing your lawn for winter entertaining is to remove any dust or debris that has accumulated since the last cleaning. This may include raking fallen leaves or spraying your lawn down with a garden hose to remove dust. If you do need to rake debris off of your lawn, be sure to use a plastic lawn rake to avoid damaging your artificial grass. This is also a good time to put away any pool toys and supplies that you may not use as often during winter.
2. Fluff Up Flattened Spots: If you had an above-ground pool on your lawn over the summer, you will find that the fake grass beneath the pool has flattened. This can be easily remedied by brushing the blades upright with a broom, plastic rake or deck brush. Flattening can also occur in areas of heavy traffic, in your dog’s favorite napping spots, or just over time from being walked on and used.
3. Check Your Lawn for Weeds: It is unlikely that any weeds will work their way up through the layers of base, weed-blocking fabric and the backing material of your lawn, but it is not entirely impossible. So, at least once a season, you should take the time to walk your entire lawn and make sure you do not have any weeds peeking through the blades.
4. Check for Damage: While you are walking your lawn looking for errant weeds, also keep an eye out for any damage that may have occurred. A properly installed artificial grass lawn can last up to about 20 years and usually will not incur any sagging or loosening areas, but it is always a good idea to check your seams, look for any pulling or sagging, and check for any burn spots that may have occurred if you used a fire pit or barbecue grill a little too close to your lawn over the summer. If you find areas that need to be adjusted or replaced, contact your turf installer to see if they are available to make the repairs.
5. Deodorize Pet Restroom Areas: If your pets spent a lot of time outdoors during the summer and fall, it may be time to give their favorite potty spots a good cleaning and deodorizing. After removing any solid waste and spraying down areas where they frequently urinate, use a mixture of water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle to spray down the area. This will help deodorize and disinfect the spots they use most often for their bathroom activities. If the vinegar and water mixture does not quite do the trick, you can use an all-natural artificial grass deodorizer, such as Urea Z.
6. Prepare for Rain: We do not always have wet winters in Southern California but, if Mother Nature sees fit to give us any precipitation this year, winter is when it will most likely happen. Fortunately, there are no issues with mud when you have an artificial grass lawn and there is less chance of slipping on wet grass when compared to how slippery a natural grass lawn can be. However, if you plan on spending much time on your lawn during inclement weather, you may want to provide some sort of cover to make sure you, your family, your pets and your guests can enjoy your lawn while being protected from the rain. This could be in the form of a canopy or, for lighter protection, shade sails hung between trees around your lawn.
7. Get a Plastic Snow Shovel: If you live in an area where it snows or freezes, you should invest in a plastic snow shovel. Using salt to melt snow or ice on artificial grass is possible, but the resulting residue can reduce the permeability of the backing material and inhibit proper drainage. It is best to allow the snow or ice to melt naturally or, if you do not have time to wait, to remove it with a plastic snow shovel to avoid damaging your lawn.