'Frost on the Grass'
For many, the cold weather season is fast approaching, and your lawn is preparing to take its winter sleep. You may be tempted to throw a plastic cover over your lawn mower and put the yard tools away for the season. But, wait, there's more to do before your lawn tools can start their well-deserved winter nap. Check out eight things you can do to protect the condition of your lawn over the winter.
8 Tips for Protecting Your Lawn in The Winter
- Rake the Last of the Leaves. You've probably been raking leaves on and off for about a month now. It's important to make sure all of them are off your lawn before the first frost. Removing leaves allows your lawn access to the sunlight and oxygen it needs to remain healthy. What should you do with those leaves? See #2 on my list.
- Mulch. Turn the raked leaves into mulch by rolling your lawnmower over them to shred them. Next, pile the mulch around trees and shrubs in your yard to protect their roots from cold temps. As a note, leave two inches of space between the piled mulch and the tree trunk or shrub to prevent rotting. I suggest letting your kids or grandkids help with this task. Be sure to let them jump in the leaves first!
- Aerate Your Lawn. Aerating your lawn is essentially the process of poking holes in the soil. This breaks up compacted soil allowing sunlight and water to nourish your grass.
- Water Your Lawn. Watering your lawn in the fall helps it recover from the summer months and gets it into healthy condition before it goes dormant. Your lawn needs about one inch of water each week. You can factor any rainfall you receive into that inch. The more well-nourished it is in the fall, the more likely it will start off on a good note in the springtime.
- Fertilize. Use an organic fertilizer on your lawn before the first frost. This is another way to give your lawn more nourishment and get it into shipshape before the cold weather and snow enter the picture.
- Relax Your Grass. Did you know that piles of snow, cold temps and foot traffic can stress out your lawn in the wintertime? Though you can't do much about the snow or cold temps, you can avoid walking on the grass during the cold weather months. Ask your kids to play on a nearby playground or in a park instead of in the backyard. A lawn that has experienced very little stress over the winter is able to recover more quickly when the snow begins to melt.
- Mow Your Lawn. Continue to mow your lawn every 10 to 14 days until the first frost. Trimming it to the recommended minimum height can help prevent the growth of fungus on the grass beneath the snow.
- Remove Weeds. Pull any weeds you see on your lawn in the fall. Being proactive about pulling weeds now helps you avoid pulling even bigger weeds in the springtime.
These are just a few easy things you can do now to help the appearance and health of your lawn in the spring. While you're weeding, mowing and watering, remember to enjoy all of the beautiful sights and smells autumn has to offer. Thanks for reading. - Alan