Preparing Your Lawn for Winter

by April Reinhardt
(last updated November 13, 2012)

The secret for having a lush lawn in spring is to prepare it properly for winter, and the time to do that is in the fall. What better time to correct the ravages of summer weather than in the fall? Although many people stop cutting their grass in the fall, most lawn experts agree that you need to continue to mow your grass into the early winter months, or until there has been no new growth for about two weeks. When there are no more visible grass clippings after you mow, that is the indicator that you're finished with your mowing season.

In preparation of winter, leave your grass height at two inches, but no more than three. Two inches of grass protects the crown of the grass, but more than three inches can pose a problem of laying over. In short, the grass will lay over itself if bent by snow and wind, retaining too much moisture below and creating a perfect environment for fungus growth.

Besides cutting your grass a final time, correctly, what else should you do to prepare your lawn for winter? Follow these guidelines and you will have a lush lawn in the spring:

  • Dethatch. Thatch is the accumulation of grass clippings, soil, and residue. If you don't remove it annually, you'll wind up with a barrier against vital nutrients and water. Use a stiff rake to dethatch your lawn in preparation of winter.
  • Clear the debris. Remove all of the sticks, twigs, leaves, thatch, pine needles and cones, and all other debris that stands in the way of your lawn receiving nutrients, sunlight, and water.
  • Repair bald spots. When your grass goes dormant, it's the perfect time to tend to bald spots in your lawn, and the new grass will establish a root system over the winter.
  • Water your lawn. While it may seem pretty basic, this is still something that needs to be mentioned. Watering your lawn helps your grass grow in a manner similar to irrigating crops. This should be done especially if you've planted new grass.

The tasks described in the list above can be easily accomplished on a Saturday afternoon. If you'd like to perform a more involved winter preparation of your lawn, you can also adjust the soil pH levels, apply insecticides and herbicides, fertilize, and aerate.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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