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Winterizing Your Lawn

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Preparing the lawn to survive the winter months is almost as important as keeping it going strong during the growing season. warm-season lawns in temperate parts of country continue to grow over the winter. Note: Warm-season grasses should not receive “winterizer” or any other kind of fertilizer in the fall unless a cool-season grass is overseeded.

The first step in winterizing a cool-season lawn is to apply a specially formulated fertilizer called winterizer. This is a formula high in potassium, which helps strengthen the cells of the grass plants and toughens them up for the winter to come. The potassium affects both top growth and roots, increasing the plant’s ability to endure cold and helping it take up other essential nutrients prior to going dormant.

The last time you mow the grass at the end of the growing season, set the mower lower so that you cut to a grass height of around 2" or less. This will limit damage to the grass and prevent it from becoming a haven for rodents during the colder months. water the lawn well one last time before the first freeze.

It’s also very important that the lawn not be covered with leaves or other yard debris over the winter months. Any covering can damage the lawn, adding to the stress of colder temperatures. remove leaves and give the lawn a brisk raking to clear all debris from between the grass plants. once you’re finished with that, make sure all your lawn-care equipment and tools are cleaned, serviced, and stored. Then head inside and keep yourself warm until spring, when your lawn will need you again.

How to Winterize Your Lawn

SPRINKLER SYSTEM HIBERNATION

Sprinkler System

If you live in an area where the ground freezes, you’ll need to prepare your in-ground sprinkler system for winter. Turn the supply line off using the valve at the T between the cold water supply and sprinkler system supply. Then use the system’s drain valve to completely drain the lines.


USING A LEAF BLOWER/VACUUM

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A leaf blower can make quick work out of clearing the lawn of leaves, especially if your town has curbside pickup. The blowing action also clears organic debris down to the soil, helping ready the lawn for winter.

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Using a blower/vac to pick up leaves is a quick way to gather them for your own compost pile.


DISPOSING OF FALL LEAVES

Tarp

If your municipality collects leaves at curbside, rake them onto a large tarp, such as a plastic painter’s tarp, and drag them to the curb for pickup.

Biodegradable Bag

Some sanitation departments require that leaves be put in biodegradable bags for pickup. But even if they don't, it's the ecologically responsible thing to do.

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