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While winter is usually the time to store away the lawn mower and take a break from lawn care, Jack Frost can nip at more than just your nose – that’s right, your lawn still needs some TLC during the winter season. Below are some simple steps you can take to help your lawn survive winter and be fully prepared to blossom beautifully when spring makes its return.
1. Start preparing in the fall. Rake away dead leaves and fallen debris from your yard to prevent wet spots that house mold and moss growth.
2. Fertilize. Late fall and early winter are the best times to feed cooler season grass types, such as Bermuda and bluegrass. If you’re unsure of your kind, chances are it is a cool season grass since most yards in North America are this type. Make sure to fertilize before the first expected freeze arrives to replenish all nutrients lost during summer’s heat. This will keep your lawn nourished all winter long.
3. Cut before the season arrives. The cutting base of your lawn mower should be lowered the last month of summer and you should continue to lower it each time you mow. Cutting your grass shorter over time will help it survive the winter temperatures. Leaving grass uncut could create a home for animals looking for a warm place to reside/nest in. Mice can particularly destroy a yard, creating dead spots from where they’ve pulled up grass to create nests.
4. Clean your yard. Don’t leave any summertime items (such as pool toys) or anything else unnecessary out in your yard; these can create dead spots if left sitting out on your grass during the winter months.
5. Keep off the grass! Grass during the winter months is already weakened due to the temperatures and have a harder time recovering if constantly walked upon. If you maintain your sidewalks and walking paths free of ice, snow and debris, guests shouldn’t be tempted to walk onto the grass. Also, make sure no one parks their vehicle on your lawn. This may be difficult to do with family coming over for the holidays, but the weight of vehicles can leave impressions upon the soil, killing the grass under the tires. This leaves room for growth of weeds and other nuisances.