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How to "Winterize" Your Lawn

Digital Strategies Support - Sunday, December 15, 2013

With winter just around the corner, now is the time to focus on preparing your lawn's survival for the next few months. While it may be tempting to slack off on lawn care this time of year, avid gardeners know that a little preparation now will result in a lush landscape come spring.

During the fall and winter months, the root systems of your lawn will undergo tremendous changes before going dormant. Here is how to winterize your lawn so it will be protected from the cold and nourished for optimum growth.

Adjust Your Mower
The last few times you mow your lawn are critical for helping your grass to grow. According to the Farmer’s Almanac , you will need to raise your blades slightly higher than you normally would have them in the summer. This extra length will help your grass to develop larger food stores that will serve as nourishment throughout the winter. However, it is important to avoid letting the grass get too tall because this will also block sunlight from getting to the crown.

Rake Fallen Leaves
Fallen leaves on the ground will quickly become a rotting mess once winter precipitation arrives. Not only will this create the perfect breeding ground for mold and fungus, but it will also block valuable air and sunlight from reaching your lawn. Be sure to rake up any fallen leaves before they form a suffocating layer. Alternatively, you can mow them to create fine mulch that will provide additional nourishment.

Sow Seeds and Fertilize Now
The ideal time to fertilize is just before winter hits when the root systems are beginning to build up their food stores. This is also the time to sow seeds and fill in any bald spots. According to Popular Mechanics , you can rake over the bald area in your yard before applying a lawn repair mixture of seeds and fertilizer. Then, your grass will have a head start on its growth in the spring.

Once you have winterized your lawn, be sure to avoid walking or parking on the grass when freezing weather has occurred. Additionally, use caution when applying ice-melting salts that can damage the delicate grass. With a little precaution now, you will be able to reap the rewards of having a beautiful lawn with the arrival of spring.

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