Preparing Your Lawn for Winter

home remodeling tid-bits

topic: lawn maintenance
by Debbie Abrams Kaplan

While the beautiful green lawn lasted all summer, it probably won't make it through the winter, unless you live in a warm climate. For those who don't, here's how to make sure your yard is ready for winter.

Like squirrels storing nuts for the winter, your yard needs nutrients for the cold weather as well. Fertilize your lawn late in the summer, while the plants are still growing, and again just before the onset of winter. This dormant feeding works well for northern types of grass, like Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass. Check with our local nursery to find out which fertilizer works best for your grass and climate. If the soil is already frozen, it's too late to fertilize, so hold off until next year. Fertilizing now causes environmental pollution, since the runoff can be damaging.

For the best lawn maintenance, cut your grass through October, until you see no more growth for two weeks. And while raking up leaves throughout the season is exhausting, it does more than just give you exercise – it improves your lawn. Old leaves, along with uncut grass caught under the blanket of wintertime snow, attract snow mold and field mice, which means your lawn won't be healthy come spring. Use a lawn service if you don't want to do the lawn maintenance, and don't forget to weed and clean out your lawn garden.

Make sure your sprinkler lines are turned off, and even drained, so the water doesn't pool in the grass. As winter sets in, avoid scooping salt-laden snow from your sidewalks and driveways onto the lawn, since your lawn will show the damage next season. All the hard work on lawn maintenance pays off when the flowers of spring start to bloom.

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