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Preparing Your Lawn for the Winter

by Skye Whitlock

posted in Home and Family

Syndicate This Article
Winter will be here before you know it, which is why it is so important to be sure you utilize the months of fall to prepare your yard for winter. Preparing your yard for winter, also called winterizing, will save you time and effort in your yard come spring. It also means a healthier, happier yard.
Fertilize and Aerate
Depending on the type of grass you have planted in your yard, you will want to be sure to prepare it for winter so it can grow lush and green in the spring.
Cool-Season Grasses
Fall is the perfect time to winterize cool-season grass by fertilizing it. Cool-season grasses are firm in the fall and will appreciate a good fertilizing. Cool-season grasses also do well when aerated. Aeration is a process that involves making holes in the soil. This step helps the roots of the grass by providing them a little extra air, nutrients, and water to help them grow deeper into the soil.
Warm-Season Grasses
Warm-season grasses often turn brown and dry during fall and winter, but they still need a little love and care. Though growth slows down, fertilizers high in potassium and an adequate amount of watering during the fall season will make your warm-season grass grow better in the spring and summer months. Potassium has been proven to help warm-season grasses deal with colder temperatures and other environmental factors that could cause damage to the grass.
Fix Dry Patches
Does your yard have dry patches from the hot summer weather? Maybe you just need to plant grass where there wasn't any before. Grasses that get a lot of foot traffic tend to wear thin. Not only does your grass then look bare, it is also more likely to grow weeds.
Fall is an ideal time to plant cool-weather or cool-season grass seed because the soil is warm even though the air is chilly. This means there are less weeds trying to compete for the same soil. The seed you plant will also receive more sunlight since the trees aren't as shady when their leaves are falling to the ground.
Before applying any seed, be sure to cut your grass a little shorter and remove excess grass clippings to ensure the grass seed can grow. Then, using the same spreader used to fertilize, simply spread the seed over the lawn, trying to distribute it evenly so you have less clumps when the grass grows. Keep the soil moist for a couple weeks until the seedlings reach about two inches in height.
Keep in mind that different seed have different needs. Be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions on the label of the seed bag.
Water the Lawn
When fall comes around many people begin to spend more time indoors than in the summer. Therefore, many people forget to continue watering their lawn in the fall season. Keeping the soil moist will keep the grass from drying out.
Using correct watering techniques for the climate in which you live will help to ensure your grass is getting enough water and not drowning or dying of thirst. More often than not, your grass will need as much water in the fall as it received during the spring and summer months. But be careful not to over water your grass as it can damage the roots and keep the grass from growing lush.
Mow
Don't forget to mow your lawn a few times before winter blows in. Mowing your lawn during the fall season will help keep your lawn strong and healthy and help your grass to grow nice and lush.
Check your mower blade to make sure it sharp. Chances are it has received a lot of use the past few months and might be a little dull. A dull blade can leave cuts that will cause the tips of the grass to turn brown and could also make the lawn more susceptible to diseases.
When mowing your lawn in the fall, try to keep your grass length to 2.5 to 3 inches so help it maintain moisture and remain healthy.
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