Preparing Lawns for Winter
There are a few details to take care of for the lawn and prepare it for the coming winter months. A little foresight now will give the lawn a strong start in the spring.
Lower the height of your mower. The lawn should enter winter with no tender young growth. This soft growth will burn easily with the first hard frosts and will give the entire lawn a brownish cast for the entire season. It will also provide a place for winter diseases like snow mold to develop. As late fall approaches gradually lower the height on your mower over several cuts.
A late application of fertilizer will be essential for a strong start next spring. Because the top growth has slowed down the nutrients will go mainly to the roots where the turf will convert the fertilizer into food reserves until it is needed in the spring.
Before snow comes to bury the evidence take the time to remove leaves, twigs and other debris on the lawn that can smother the grass. This debris will no only smother the grass but can create disease problems in late winter and early spring.
If you did not get a chance to aerate earlier in the fall there may still be time to do it. Aeration is effective as long as the ground is not frozen and a plug can be pulled from the lawn. The plugs will have plenty of time to crumble before spring.
After the last mowing take the time to winterize your mower. This will leave the mower in tiptop shape and ready to go in the spring!