How to Prepare your Lawn for Winter: Step by Step

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Falling temperatures and chilly nights are an indication that the winter is here!

And like everything else in the winters, your lawn also tends to grow at a slower pace.

While this may allow you a break from your regular mowing, your work for your glorious lawn is far from over!

Instead of skipping the lawn work altogether, why not use this period to prepare your lawnmower and yard for winter and set the stage for next year’s abundant green growth?

Sounds like a plan, right?

Well, you don’t really have to do a lot- just follow the below-mentioned five steps for a healthy, lush lawn for winters.

How to Prepare your Lawn for Winter

Before you start winterizing your lawn for the upcoming season, it is recommended that you get a soil test done to know the type and the pH level of your soil.

Also, it is crucial to understand the type of grass you have so that you can take adequate action and prepare your grass for the wintertime ahead.

Once you are through with these preliminary steps, read here on how to prepare and keep your lawn healthy all winter.

Rake Up the Fallen Leaves

Step one of your pre-winter lawn care is to rake up the fallen dead leaves as soon as possible.

Dead leaves that haven’t been cleared up can become a wet soggy mess in due time, which can suffocate your grass and provide a haven to various insects and diseases that will inadvertently destroy your lawn.

In order to avoid this, you can rake them up, or if you only have a thin layer of leaves covering the ground, you can also mow them using a lawnmower.

A good number of well-chopped leaves can act as compost, serving as mulch and feeding your lawn with plenty of nutrients during the winter months.

Winter lawn care

 Adjust the Height of your Mower

Changing and adjusting the height of your mower blade is rule 101, which can’t be ignored when we talk about winter lawn preparation.

Once the cool weather arrives, you will most likely be mowing your lawn relatively lesser than before.

Therefore, lower the blades on your mower for winter and keep your grass short (about 3/4th of an inch tall).

Mowing low will encourage stronger roots growth and protect your grass from unforeseeable damage and diseases over the frigid weather.

Also, neatly trimmed short grass won’t be easily broken by frost or matted down by heavy snow.

And last but not least, don’t forget to winterize your mower before you pack it up and keep it away.

Trust me; you’ll thank yourself next year when your mower will be ready and clean for its first session of the season.

 Aerate the Grass

Aerating your lawn soil is an indispensable part of your lawn care before winter.

This process basically involves belting small holes in your lawn to remove additional compacted soil.

These punctured holes provide the grass with extra air and allow the nutrients and the water to go deeper into the soil, thus encouraging stronger and secure roots.

Now, there are various methods through which you can aerate your grass.

For example, for smaller lawns, you can use a pair of aerating shoes with sharp spikes that will aerate your yard as you walk across it.

However, for more extensive lawns, it is usually recommended to use a motorized aerator specially made for this purpose.

How to take care of lawn in winter

Overseed your lawn

Moving on, overseeding your lawn before the winters is an excellent way to get rid of unruly bare patches in your yard.

It is a process that involves generously spreading a layer of grass over the already existing one.

This allows you to fill in any bare spots on your yard or add extra healthy grass to your thinning lawn.

Moreover, overseeding also helps to prevent weed growth.

This will ensure that the adaptable weeds like dandelions and crabgrass, etc., do not take advantage of a thinning lawn during winters.

Also, remember to not wait too late into the autumn to overseed your lawn.

You need to give the seeds a chance to establish their roots and grow before the winter comes.

Fertilize with Care

And of course, to prepare your yard for winter ahead, give it plenty of nutrients.

You should provide your lawn with good and quality fertilizers in either early fall or late summer.

This will allow the grass to store the extra nutrients, enabling them to survive the winter.

Make sure not to dump the fertilizer in just one spot. You can evenly spread it across your lawn by using a rotary spreader.

Aim to provide your precious lawn with all the desirable nutrients before the winter to ensure it stays green and lush throughout.

Final Words

Pre-winter lawn care is an arduous process that requires you to take precautions to ensure that your lush green yard survives the frigid temperatures.

And while it may not be your favorite way to spend your time, the fruits of your toil will definitely be worth every minute that you spend preparing your lawn for the cold weather.

Suppose you just follow the above steps of raking, aerating, overseeding, fertilizing, and adequately cutting your grass; in that case, I promise your lawn will stay green, lush, and healthy even through the freezing and snowy climate.

And what else? You might even have relatively lesser weeds in the next season! That’s a real win-win situation!

About Tom Reynolds

My name is Tom Reynolds, and I like lawn mowing. When I was a kid, I used to help my dad in cutting grass using a reel mower, now, I have my own 6 different lawn mowers. Keeping my lawn healthy and beautiful gives me satisfaction, and I still enjoy working in my lawn.