January Lawn Tips

january is a month of cold and sometimes fridged month with average highs near 38 degrees. With the short days and long nights, there are less things that you can do to take care of your lawn during this time.

What should I do to my lawn in January?

Here’s your January lawn care ‘to do’ list:

  • Collect leaves and other unwanted debris regularly.
  • Don’t walk on the grass unless necessary, especially after frost.
  • Core Aeration: its not to late soil temperatures are still warm enough to pull good cores loosing up your soil
  • Relax, you deserve a break after maintaining a healthy lawn all year!

Can you still cut grass in January?

Technically, it is still ok to cut your grass in January, but we wouldn’t recommend it. If the weather is warm enough for the grass to grow, then you can get your mower out to keep it looking neat and tidy.

The problem with cutting grass in January is that mowing it too short could damage it.

Never mow your lawn in winter when the ground is frost covered and the grass has turned brown. The blades of your mower will damage the roots if they get too close to them so it’s best to avoid it this time of year.

Fertilizing Your Lawn in Winter

A winter fertilizer can be used to keep your lawn looking green and healthy. This time of the year turf is storing nutrients making it an ideal time to fertilizer. Its best to use a fertilizer with an ideal NPK ratio of 16-4-16 or something similar. Lots of winterizer formulas have a zero phosphorus, but a fertilizer with a small amounts of P can actually make a big difference in the growth and vitality of your lawn

How cold is too cold to fertilize the lawn?

Don’t fertilize your lawn if the temperature drops below freezing or the ground is frozen. The roots won’t be active if the soil is completely frozen, and they won’t be able to absorb the nutrients you’re putting down.


To aerate your lawn in January you should go for a light approach. Use a rolling lawn garden spike aerator rather than a hollow tine aerator. This will help to break up the compacted soil and allow air and water to flow more easily through it. Exposing the lawn to large aeration holes could mean it freezes more easily in cold conditions.

Fallen Leaves

Make sure you collect fallen leaves regularly over the winter months. If you leave them on the lawn they will block out light, causing rot and potential disease problems in the spring.

You should rake leaves off the lawn gently so you don’t cause any damage to the grass. Ideally you want to keep your lawn as clean as possible throughout the winter months prepping it for a successful spring.

Frost & Snow

In Northeast Pa, it’s quite typical to have frost and snow in December, January and February.  A heavy snowfall is a challenge for a lawn as it completely blocks out the light. In heavy snow, remember not to clear your path or driveway and pile the snow onto your lawn. Such a mass of snow will take longer to thaw and could cause damage and lawn disease such as snow mold in the spring.

Sometimes, you can’t avoid heavy frosts or snowfalls. If it does happen to fall on your lawn, then you’ll need to focus on recovery in spring.

Winter Lawn Care Tips

  • Lawn Disease: In January, it’s rare to see any diseases actively occurring in the lawn. Although you may see snow mold its much more common to see this in the spring. Snow mold typically occurs when the ground hasn’t completely frozen before we get our first large snowfall.
  • Low PH: As lawns begin to go dormant, they begin to thin out. You may notice moss that has been working its way throughout shady damp areas of your lawn. Now is a good time to get a soil sample test done and work with us here at lawn specialties to apply the correct amount of lime to adjust the PH in your soil. 
  • Seed: At this point its too late in the season for seed to germinate. You can however dormant seed this is the process of seeding now and allowing it to germinate in the spring. This will give your lawn the head start it needs before next year.

We hope that we have been able to provide some helpful advice for those of you looking after the grass in January. That completes your lawn care tips for this year, so put your feet up, and get ready for lawn care in February! Make sure you visit every month for spring, summer, autumn and winter lawn care tips and advice.