Preparing your lawn for winter will make spring care and maintenance a less difficult task. By taking a few steps now to preserve the health you have instilled all summer long, the lawn and soil will be ready to thrive in warm temperatures again. Lawn care doesn't just end when the mowing season does. It is a year-round job.
Fertilize the lawn in late fall to prepare for winter. Pour a low nitrogen fertilizer into a walk behind spreader and open the controls to 1/4 open. Walk in paths across the lawn to coat the entire area with fertilizer. Complete this in August or early September to allow for proper settling before the first frost.
Mow the lawn until growth has stopped for the winter. Raise the blade level for the last month's mowing to allow for more of a shaft on the grass blade. This will prevent weeds from germinating in the fall and allows for a more hardy lawn that will withstand a harsh winter.
Aerate the lawn. Thatch will increase over winter, making seeding and growth dismal in the spring. Rent an aerator or pay a lawn care service to perform this task. Either option is generally $100.
Apply a broad leaf weed control product to the lawn before winter approaches.
Water the lawn well one last time before winter. Soak the lawn, making the soil moist 2 inches deep.