Winter is coming, homeowners. So, while we’re watching the seasons change, let’s look at a couple of things you can do for your lawn before temperatures drop. While the changing of leaves is beautiful, those vibrant husks are likely scattered across your lawn, in your gutters, flowerbeds, or the street drains, which can lead to problems with your yard. The best way to protect your community this winter is to keep your lawn tidy, and your home and yard will thank you come spring.
Rake or Mulch
Whatever you do, don’t leave a blanket of leaves on your grass during the winter. Leaves blanketing your yard will weigh down grass, trap moisture and help bacterium grow, breed perfect homes for insects, and can even provide shelter for vermin. Also, make sure to remove leaves in your street gutter. If it rains or snows, those leaves will prevent your street from draining properly, which can mean big trouble during severe weather. Clean your Rain Gutters – Since winter months bring rain and snow, you need to make sure your roof and gutters are free of debris – especially leaves that restrict proper drainage. The last thing you need is a broken gutter or a leaky roof due to poor drainage. If you insist on cleaning your home’s gutters yourself, make sure a family member of neighbor can keep an eye on you during the whole process.
Mow and Trim
November is a great time for a final mow and shrub trimming to get your yard ready for spring. Be sure to trim your lawn short, ideally around 2½ – 3 inches in length, without cutting down too much. This allows the weaker winter sun to reach the crown of the grass, which will help keep things healthy and ready for the next growing season.
Treat for Weeds and Fertilize
As fall winds down, kill any pesky weeds you see still growing, and any getting ready to pop up. Even when nothing seems to be growing, weeds can siphon away water and nutrients that good plants need to survive the winter. Once you’ve removed weeds, fertilize your lawn and any larger plants that may need it. Proper nourishment will help your yard thrive in early spring and prevent damage during the winter months. Treating your lawn for weeds before winter sets in will also ensure fewer sprouting weeds for you to pluck at the start of spring.
With the hazardous summer heat soon to be in the rear view. Now is the perfect time to start reseeding any patches of grass that died over the course of the incredibly hot summer. Rake through and uproot any dead patches and begin filling the space with seeds, fertilizer, and mulch. Not only does this give the new grass the best chance of establishing itself in your yard, filling the space will help keep weeds from growing in.
With the cold setting in, critters will try to turn your lawns into their winter oasis. Using either what you can pick up at the store, or professional services, to keep your lawn insect free will be a big help in this colder weather.
Aerate and Water
Over the summer, your lawn usually gets packed down. If you don’t aerate regularly with a rolling spike tool or liquid kit, your lawn will struggle to grow and fill in come spring. It is especially important in areas that are really packed down. Give your yard a good watering regularly (as permitted by local drought restrictions, of course) in the lead up to winter,before you will need to reduce your overall usage.
Homeowners who follow these tips are giving their lawn the best chance to survive the colder winter temperatures between now and next spring. Being proactive in your lawn care regiment will ensure you’re not having to hit the reset button once the weather becomes less hostile to grass and plants as winter ends.