Winter’s Here, Is your Lawn Ready?

Well, winter is upon us. Not only does this mean it’s time to break out the long johns, it’s also time to get your lawn ready for winter.

First off, make sure your lawn is relatively short. Not only does this keep mice and other critters from using the longer grass to keep warm, it also protects new growth. If the grass blades are too big, the longer leaves can fall over themselves, killing the lawn as snow and ice pack them down over other blades.

Additionally, you also need to mow periodically. This will kill off most common winter weeds which can’t take the repeated cuttings. If you are really dedicated, get out there and weed by hand as well. This will save time when the next year rolls around.

Make sure that your lawn is properly fertilized and maintained. Just before the first frost, aerate your yard, then provide a fertilizer. If appearance is a big concern, do this in a crisscrossing pattern. This will make it look more natural come springtime. In those colder regions, fertilizing helps prevent snow mold, which is a fungus that can arise once snow melts. It will also make sure nutrients in the lawn are locked in for the winter and feeds the roots once the snow falls.

Seeding can also be important. If you already have dead spots, seed them and get a leg up on spring growth. Winter seedings are less reliant on watering because the soil is typically wet coming out of winter and spring rains are likely. By seeding during the winter, you are ensuring a better looking lawn once warmer weather rolls back around.

Make sure that any patio furniture or other objects such as logs, toys and any portable fire pits, are put away. Leaving them out can leave large dead spots in the lawn. This will affect that area of the yard in the spring, making it stunted and uneven.

See that all the leaves are raked from the yard. Don’t just start after all of the leaves have fallen. Keep them off the yard or they will essentially form a large mat, which will suffocate the grass. Alternatively, you can pick them up with a mower fitted with a collection bag or vacuum system (such as the Cyclone Rake).

Finally, winter is the time of the year that you want to do your pruning. Most woody plants are dormant, and because leaves have already fallen, it makes it easier for you to see what you’re doing. Pruning in the fall can try and make the plant stimulate late growth, exactly when you don’t need for that to occur. So try and do this in the middle of winter or very early spring.

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