Having a beautiful lawn and landscape takes a little time, effort and care, but will pay off big time when the spring rolls around again. Read the following 8 tips to help ensure a beautiful lawn and garden for the warmer weather to enjoy and protect your investment.
- Check pH Levels. Before you start your winter preparation of your lawn and garden winterization, test the pH levels of your soil. Key to a healthy lawn is a neutral pH level; otherwise your lawn might thin out over time. If you have acidic patches treat them with lime products. Any areas that are too alkaline can be corrected with a sulfur treatment.
- Remove Weeds. Perennial weeds will compete for the nutrients with your lawn, therefore it is imperative to remove them before winter. If you are expecting a particularly harsh winter safeguard your plants.
- Fertilizer. Spreading fertilizers made for winterizing lawns have higher potassium content than the fertilizer used during the warm weather, as they are designed to strengthen plants under stress due to weather. Use a spreader and apply the fertilizer evenly over the grass. Be careful not to over fertilize, otherwise you can burn the lawn.
- Aerate. By aerating the lawn it allows air, water, and nutrients to reach down into the roots. High-traffic lawn areas are particularly susceptible and can suffer from thatch buildup if not treated.
- Grass Seed. For northern climates areas, spread cool-weather grass seed. The best time is during the day with temperatures between 60-70°F.
- Plant Beds. Insulate the topsoil by adding mulch, plant a cover crop, or cover the flower and vegetable beds with burlap. Repot small plants and tender bulbs such as calla lilies should be and brought indoors to survive, if possible. Many other varieties of bulbs need the cold weather to bloom in the spring.
- Rake Leaves. Raking leaves in the fall is an important part of the winterizing process for lawns, but it is tedious work. You could use leaf blowers, or use your lawn mower with the grass catcher attached and run over the leaves with it.
- Dethatching. If you have had problems with your lawn in the past, you may not realize how detrimental thatch build-up is to the grass. An advantage to raking leaves is that you can dethatch your lawn at the same time. Vigorous raking will free the thatch that may be plaguing your lawn.
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