You've spent the entire spring and most of the summer working on the perfect lawn. The color is the perfect green and the density is so great that you haven't seen a crabgrass patch all season. Just as you begin to truly enjoy the fruits of your labor, winter comes around to steal your joy. Don't let the winter ruin your lawn. Take the right steps to prepare your lawn for the winter and ensure that the next summer's lawn is just as great.
Cut it Short
As winter approaches, lower the height of your lawnmower's blades. Cut your lawn very short and avoid new lawn growth. This will help to prevent grass disease that often appears during the winter months. Make sure that you do not scalp the lawn, however. This will cause the grass to grown in with a yellow sting the following year.
Thoroughly fertilize your lawn after the final mowing of the season. Use a fertilizer with a high level of nitrate. Generally ¼ pound of nitrate per 1000 square feet is appropriate. However, make sure that your fertilizing procedure matches your selected grass's specifications. Avoid slow-release fertilizers in the winter as they are not as effective during this period.
Remove any debris or equipment from your lawn before the weather chills and the snow falls. Objects and debris in the lawn can suffocate the lawn during the winter. This smothering will damage the grass, promote disease, and result in spots and prints in the next summer's lawn.
Aerate your lawn before winter arrives to avoid lawn thatch. It is a good idea to aerate the lawn before fertilizing. This will improve the effects of the fertilizer and promote vigorous growth for the following year. Aeration can be completed using garden tools or you can choose to purchase or rent an aeration machine. These machines are usually available at the local hardware or home improvement store.
Water your lawn to ensure proper irrigation. When watering the lawn, make sure that the lawn's roots receive moisture. Healthy lawns require one to two inches of watering to ensure that the water reaches the root systems of the grass. Choose a fairly warm day to complete the irrigation. Ideally, you should cut your lawn, aerate, fertilize and then water two or three days after the final fertilization.
Don't Forget the Lawnmower
Service your lawnmower. Check your lawnmower to make sure that it is in good condition. Clean your mower and remove any debris that has settled. The debris may carry disease that can infect your lawn during the following season. Have your mower's blades sharpened and prepare the mower for the upcoming spring so that you are ready when it arrives.