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autumn lawn close up mushrooms

With autumn coming to an end and winter quickly approaching, it’s important to know the best steps for taking care of your lawn. Many homeowners make the mistake of ignoring their lawns at this time of year, as growth slows and temperatures cool. However, preparing your lawn for winter is vital in assuring that your yard looks great come spring. Here are a few simple steps to follow to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood once the warm weather returns.

Try “overseeding”

Many people patch holes in their lawn in the summer. However, the weather often is too hot for grass seed to really flourish. Instead of seeding at that time, overseed (place in bare spots and throughout the yard) in the fall. During the fall season, grass begins to retain moisture and other nutrients for the lengthy winter months.

Aerate the soil prior to planting seed, and then watch it grow rapidly. To determine which seed to select, try to match your current grass, or pick a grass based on the amount of sunlight your lawn receives on a daily basis.

Winterize with fertilizer

Fertilizing your lawn prior to winter has many benefits. The most obvious perk is that it will immediately (or within a few days) give your lawn a lush green appearance, due to the high amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer. This also enables grass to grow and spread into areas that are thin or bare.

While you can use a regular lawn fertilizer, consider using a winterizer fertilizer offered by brands that contain an extra boost of potassium, which help your lawn with photosynthesis, respiration, and retention of water and vital nutrients.

Employ some pre-emptive weed control

Sometimes weeds such as dandelions, clover, and chickweed can smother a lawn and choke out the grass. However, many lawn care companies provide products that kill these nuisances and won’t harm your lawn. Fall weed and feed fertilizer is the best product to apply, as it not only kills weeds, but also fertilizes the lawn. The sooner you kill the weeds, better chance your lawn will have to reestablish itself before winter.

For those of you who are uncomfortable with chemicals, and that is a growing number of people these days, check out this article that talks about how to kill weeds without pesticides earlier in the season.

Rake the leaves and continue mowing

Once the leaves begin to fall, it’s important to remove them from your lawn as soon as possible. Once leaves gather on a lawn, they start to smother it and don’t allow proper water absorption. After raking the leaves, continue mowing as you normally would, and leave the clippings on the ground, as they provide valuable nutrients that will be reabsorbed into the grass.

Lessen your load for speing

Although doing more yard work in the fall feels like a daunting task, especially after the work you put in over the spring and summer, it is absolutely necessary to maintain a beautiful lawn. Remember that by doing the work now, you’ll lessen the amount of work you’ll need to do in the spring, so you can enjoy the weather and admire your perfectly manicured lawn.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.