With the arrival of fall, you may think it's time to forget about the yard work until next spring. Perhaps you've already rolled your lawn mower into the garden shed and locked the door. But freezing temperatures, snow, and ice can damage the health of your lawn over the winter months. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare your lawn so it has a better chance against the harsh winter weather.
Cut the Grass
Don't put your lawn mower away for the winter just yet. Mow your grass to a length of about one or one and a half inches. Maintain this length until the ground freezes. Keeping your grass short will decrease the likelihood of fungus growth once the snow starts to fall.
Rake the Leaves
Raking leaves off of your lawn allows sunlight and oxygen easy access to your grass. This keeps it in good condition. Plus, you can use the raked leaves as mulch. I suggest you do a little raking each day so you don't end up with a yard full of heavy, wet leaves after a fall rainstorm.
Why is it important to aerate your soil in the fall? Aerating your lawn allows air, sunlight, and water to reach the roots of your grass. Keeping your lawn as healthy as possible in the fall will make your lawn-care duties easier in the springtime.
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall delivers nutrients straight to the roots. The roots store the nutrients so the grass is ready to start healthy growth in the springtime. Be sure to aerate before fertilizing so the fertilizer can sink directly into the ground.
Get Rid of Weeds
If you still have dandelions or other weeds growing on your lawn, it's the perfect time to remove them. They are funneling nutrients away from your grass. Putting weed-killer on them now means they won't reappear next spring.
If you see bare spots on your lawn, reseed them to prompt new growth. Water the new seeds until you have grass that is about an inch or an inch and a half tall. It's better to reseed now instead of in the summertime because new seed doesn't fare well in the heat.
Mulch Your Garden
Both your garden and your yard need attention in the fall. If you have perennials in your garden, cut them back and pull out any lingering weeds. Remove any miniature trellises, stakes, or other items that may become damaged during the winter. Put them in your garden shed or another dry, clean storage area. Use your raked leaves to mulch your garden so it will be ready for springtime growth.
Add to Your Compost Pile
Shredded leaves and grass clippings can be added to your compost pile or used to start one. Maintaining a compost pile helps to nourish plants and soil. Also, it's a simple way to reduce the amount of material in our landfills.
Remember that the effort you give to preparing your yard for winter can really pay off when spring arrives next year. Thanks for reading. - Alan