Winter is on its way. Soon, the north winds will begin blowing, pushing colder air further south and across the country. Chilly mornings have already started, with warm days enabling you to get outside and work on your lawn. Summer’s heat and dryness have now passed with cooler, wetter weather currently replenishing your lawn. Even so, you need to prepare your grass for winter. Here is how to get that done.
Mow your lawn. You’re mowing your lawn far less in the fall than you had all summer long. That’s a good thing: for you and for the lawn. Your lawn isn’t quite ready to go dormant, so keep up with your regular work. Just before you’re ready to put your lawn mower away for the season, you’ll want to cut the grass down to a level of about one and one-half inches. Don’t go any shorter as you’ll put too much stress on the plants.
Bring out the aerator. Following a recent rain, but not a heavy rain event, is the best time to aerate your lawn. Here, you’ll want to tackle your lawn, working from the perimeter to the center. Take care to cover all areas as your lawn needs to very important prepping prior to seeding.
Manage lawn patches. Following a thorough aeration , you’ll see various areas in your lawn that are patchy, brown or simply not as healthy looking as the rest of your yard. It is at this point you will need to identify each area, apply a coating of compost and work that in to the lawn. Choose only compost that has sufficient aged, what is cool and crumbles to the touch.
Apply lawn fertilizer. Your lawn is still hungry and it will need a coat of fertilizer, especially if its condition is subpar. Here, you have a choice of applying lime pellets or seasonal fertilizer, but do so only with a spreader. You want to ensure that fertilizer is applied evenly across the lawn. If you are not sure what type of fertilizer to use, have your soil tested by your state’s extension service. Typically, you can find a service at the county level and pay a small fee to have the sample tested.
Overseed your lawn. Well before the first frost settles in — typically at least six weeks beforehand — saturate your lawn with grass seed. You want to overseed to ensure that enough seed has fallen to germinate and sprout before winter settles in. Use a spreader, overlap your passes and cover every square foot of your lawn completely.
Rake your lawn. Help the seeds settle into your lawn by taking a rake, flipping over the tines and seeing to it that the seeds take hold. You need to water your lawn daily, up to three days each day, but for no more than five minutes. When the seeds sprout, give your lawn a more thorough watering of no more than 30 minutes. Wait unit the grass grows sufficiently before giving it a final cutting. Once it measures three inches tall, then cut it back to half its size to allow it to go dormant for the winter.
Clearly, the work of preparing your lawn for winter starts early in the fall and may not be over until December, depending where you live. A big consideration for homeowners are leaves and how they can clog up the lawn. You’ll want to remove most leaves and have the remainder ground up and left on your soil for the winter.
Another area of concern is yard equipment storage notes Weatherport.com Here, you will want to winterize your lawn mower, place your tools away, empty the bird bath, put away the hoses and take in any household plants that have been outside all summer. It can also be a good time to shop for additional storage solutions, especially if your garage space or shed needs are not sufficient.