Don’t Fall Behind: How to Prep Your Lawn for Winter

Temperatures are dropping, leaves are beginning to fall and days are becoming shorter, signaling the beginning of another fall and winter season. Don’t put your yard tools and lawn mower away just yet!  Fall is a critical time to prepare your landscape for another winter, and there are a few things left to do to ensure that all your spring and summer efforts aren’t wasted.

A full, fall lawn care regimen includes fertilizing, raking, aerating, mowing and seeding. Follow these basic tips to winterize your yard.  

Lawn aeration helps to combat grass compaction from summer traffic and encourages the absorption of water, nutrients and oxygen from the soil.

Fertilizing in late fall—right before the first heavy freeze—will help your grass survive harsh winter weather and encourage lush growth next spring by pumping nutrients into the roots. The best time to apply fertilizer is just after aerating.

Grass seed grows well in cooler, fall temperatures, so plant new grass seed over thin patches to help improve your lawn’s density.  By the time warmer spring conditions arrive, the seed will already be in place and ready to germinate.  

Leaf and debris clean up
Throughout fall, rake up leaves, mulch them and then apply them to your yard.  You’ll improve the appearance of your lawn by keeping it neat, and the leaves will help fertilize and enrich the soil for next spring.

One last mow
Before you put the mower to rest, trim your lawn one last time. Reduce your lawn’s cutting height to around 2-1/2 inches, but not any shorter as you will risk killing the grass.

Prep your lawn equipment
Tune up, clean and lubricate your mower, trimmers and other yard tools at the end of the season. Always store your lawn equipment in a clean, dry place, such as the garage or shed. Servicing your equipment properly will ensure they are in good working condition when spring arrives.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it’s important that you utilize the fall season to prepare your lawn for the cold, winter months. The extra work will be well worth it come next spring and summer when your landscape is lush, thick and green. 

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