If having a beautiful, lush lawn in the spring is important to you, then chances are good that you take care of your lawn throughout the year. However, when wintertime sets in, you might think that your work is done and start packing it in until the weather starts to warm. The truth is that winter preparation is vital to having a gorgeous lawn once the snow and ice begins to melt. Quite a few things can be done to prepare your lawn for healthy growth in the spring.
Fertilize in Autumn and Winter
While you might not think it, fertilizing your lawn in the early winter is an excellent way to help ensure that it has the best start in the new year. You should add fertilizer as late in the year as possible, but before the ground freezes. If you aren’t sure about the right mixture of fertilizer, a soil test can help you out.
Don’t Leave the Leaves
While chances are good that you took care of the bulk of those fallen leaves in early and mid-autumn, it’s important to make sure you get all of them raked up and disposed of late in the year as well. Leaves can continue falling well into winter, and that build up on your grass can cause some serious problems. Additionally, never leave mounds of leaves in your yard, as they will kill the grass beneath them.
Aerate in Late Autumn
Your yard sees heavy traffic throughout the warm months of the year. Foot traffic and lawnmowers compact the soil, cutting off the flow of oxygen and water to the roots of your grass. The late autumn is an ideal time to aerate your lawn and help ensure that air and water are able to penetrate down to the roots of the grass. This will also help the fertilizer penetrate deeper into the soil.
Take Care of Bare Areas
If your lawn has developed bare patches and they have not filled in by late autumn, early to mid-winter is a good time to reseed. Make sure to put down any seed before the ground freezes, and consider opting for a type of grass that germinates rather quickly (bluegrass can take some time, so rye might be a better choice).
Think about Lime
If you suffer from acidic winter rains, then it is time to put down some lime. An application of lime on your grass will help neutralize the acid in the rain and keep your lawn’s pH balanced for healthier growth in the spring.
Kill Those Weeds
Grass will usually go dormant during the dead of winter, but you might just see some broadleaf weeds still growing during the cold. If you see weeds, it’s important to take care of them now. If you leave them alone, you only give them more time to become established and spread through your yard.
Following these tips will help ensure that you have a vibrant, lush lawn when warmer weather comes back around.