Is Your Lawn Ready for Winter?

One nice thing about the cooler weather in the fall is that the lawn does not need mowing quite as often. But as most responsible home owners know, there’s always something that needs to get done and even if the grass does not need mowing, there are things you should do to keep it healthy through the winter months. Here are a few tips:

·         Aerate. Tools that aerate your lawn pull up plugs of grass and dirt which helps break up compacted turf.  By aerating your lawn you’re allowing water, oxygen and other nutrients to reach the roots of your grass and also gives new seeds room to sprout. Ideally, this should be done once a year or once every other year. Aeration machines can be rented by the hour at most major hardware stores. Save some money and ask your neighbor if they would like to split the cost of the equipment for the day.

·         Seed. If you have patchy areas in your lawn that need to be seeded fall is the perfect time to do it. Fall and winter are the seasons when turf roots grow best. Don’t buy the cheapest bag of seed you can find. Basically, you get what you pay for. Be sure to water your seeded areas for at least 10 days so they can germinate and get a good foothold.

·         Fertilize. Fertilize later in the fall before the first frost. This will help protect your grass over the winter and promote a nice green lawn in the spring. Some fertilizers are harmful to the environment so use sparingly and check your area to see if there are any regulations.

·         Mulch. Before the leaves start falling in mass quantities, mulch the thin layer that has fallen right into your lawn as you mow these last few times. As mulched leaves decompose they provide a lot of great nutrients for your grass.

Don’t worry, winter is soon coming and your lawn will be covered with a blanket of snow. Out of sight out of mind, right? At least you’ll know that you’ve provided for its best possible come back in the spring. Now all you need to do is find your snow shovel.