Prepare your lawn as soon as the early summer ends in September. As we consider it might have been exposed to the dryness and heat, restoring it to a lush green lawn for your next spring will undoubtedly require a proper schedule. So, how to prepare your lawn for winter?
The lawn maintenance for the winter requires
Cutting the grass short, overseeding the lawn, core aeration of the turf in fall, spreading the compost pile in the bare spots, dethatching, and using winter fertilizers.
We also recommend you measure the soil pH of your lawn before setting out for easy-to-handle lawn maintenance. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to help you restore the strength of your lawn in winter.
Cut the grass short in winter
We suggest you follow a regional approach; mow the lawn shorter for cool-season grass and keep it regular or slightly lower for warm-season grass for its natural protection.
For taller grass, you should mow the lawn in a few series so you save the plant from getting extra stress. These longer grass blades provide insulation to the growth point of grass. So, it's best to cut them down for a strong winterized lawn.
Also, it helps avoid making a tangled mass that is a source of winter diseases like pink and gray snow mold.
Over-seed your lawn
If your lawn has been subject to an extensive turf loss, we recommend you opt for over-seeding using a rotatory spreader. It will help in the uniform distribution of seed in crisscross paths twice over the turf/compost. That is how you get the seeds immersed deeply in the soil.
The schedule for this step is mainly in mid-August/September. It's best to roll over the lawn and water it routinely to set out healthy germination of new seeds.
Use core aeration
Aerating your lawn in the early fall is a great solution to control soil compaction. You can either use a manual aerator or get a power aerator for an easy DIY process.
Things to consider when using core aeration are
The soil should be moist and not wet and soft so, if the soil is too dry, water it one day before you aerate. l Start aerating by taking several passes around the lawn and shifting your focus to the most troublesome spots. l Leave out the soil plugs on the lawn to help the nutrients get down to the plant roots smoothly.
Spread Compost Pile
The next step to aeration is making an active compost pile that boosts your lawn condition throughout the winter. The rain in fall will also help to enhance the action process of compost. So, what a good compost pile looks like?
It has a cool internal temperature. So, if you detect a hot and smelly compost pile, do not use it as it harbors harmful pathogens.
Adds up a mixture of disease-free straw or fall leaves to help better insulation of pile that is cured, dry, crumbly, and cool to touch.
Control the thatch
When carrying out the final raking of leaves, you can simultaneously go for the control of thatch when applying first fall fertilizer or over-seeding. So, you get to halt the winter injury caused by these extra layers of dead grass that stop the nutrients from getting in contact with the soil.
It can be performed in two ways: Core Aeration and Verticutting.
The last step before the winter arrives is putting up winter fertilizer in the mid-late fall season. To balance the spread of fertilizers over the lawn, open and close the hopper while the spreader is still working.
The blend of nutrition helps prepare the lawn to bed for winter and enhances the turf and root growth.