Although winter weather is setting in heavily in some areas of the country, it is never too late to care for your lawn with fall and winter preparation tasks. Here are some recommendations to keep your lawn cared for over the winter and into spring.
Complete Fall Clean-Up
In the fall, your yard will likely end up receiving a large amount of leaves that drop from trees in your yard and from nearby trees in neighboring yards. When these leaves fall upon the lawn in your yard they will dry and pile up, but as soon as they come into contact with moisture from rainfall or snow, they will compact into a hard layer of dead leaves. On your lawn, the leaves are a death sentence and will smother it from any growth in the upcoming spring. For this reason, it is essential that you keep up on regular leaf raking to prevent your lawn from being smothered over the winter.
If you cleared your lawn of the leaves and you have a severe windstorm in January, for example, that brings more leaves from a nearby property, you still need to stay diligent about their clean-up. Leaves that are on your lawn even for a part of the winter can cause damage to your lawn, and when spring arrives and you clean up the leaves, you will be left with bare spots in your lawn. If this happens, arrange for your lawn care professional to apply seed to your lawn to fill in the bare patches.
Arrange For Aeration
Aeration of your lawn is another great task you can complete in the fall or into the winter as long as the ground has not frozen. The reason aeration is such a good recommendation is to help the condition of your soil. Overtime, your lawn soil becomes compacted from foot traffic and settles with mowing and watering regularly. This soil compaction reduces the oxygen and nutrients reaching your lawn's roots and can reduce its health and appearance. Then, the thick layer of thatch at the roots of your soil also builds a barrier between your lawn's roots and essential moisture, oxygen, and nutrients, which aeration can help with.
Once your lawn maintenance professional aerates your lawn, you can apply a fertilizer to help your lawn in the fall and help it establish healthy root growth. The aeration will remove plugs of soil to help the essential nutrients and moisture reach your lawn's roots.
When I was young, I loved helping my mother in the garden. Our yard was filled with plants and flowers that she kept in immaculate condition. Once I was an adult and bought my first home, I learned that there was much more to landscaping a yard than I ever imagined! After a little trial and error planting a few flowers in my yard that died quickly, I realized the technology that is available to aspiring gardeners makes trial and error a thing of the past. After I found out what my "hardiness zone" was, I realized I was planting flowers made for much cooler climates, and I played around with software that let me design my yard very easily! I learned a lot throughout the experience, so I thought I would share my tips with everyone who needs them. Come back often to check out my new tips!