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Home & Garden How To Winterize Your Lawn and Yard

06:20  24 september  2021
06:20  24 september  2021 Source:   familyhandyman.com

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This helps protect your lawn . Visit TruGreen for more tips to winterize your lawn . Between the ice, snow, wind, and freezing temperatures, your lawn and plants are presented with many challenges over the winter months, but it’s nothing that a little preparation and know- how can’t overcome. Taking extra precaution when preparing your lawn for winter is essential.

DIYNetwork.com gardening experts explain how to winterize your lawn and use autumn to take other steps that will provide a beautiful summer lawn . Provide some extra air for grass roots by aerating your lawn — taking out spikes of soil across your lawn to make holes for planting seed. Aerating is low-cost maintenance and even if it's the only thing you do for your yard , you should see improvement. There are motorized aerators for rent, manual versions that work like pogo sticks, pushing out two plugs of soil at a time, and even shoes you can use to aerate while you walk.

You've worked on and enjoyed your yard all summer, and now it's almost time to give it a rest. But before you do, these last chores of the season will set up your lawn and garden for optimal success when the warmth of spring returns. Here's how to winterize a yard.

  How To Winterize Your Lawn and Yard © Photos by R A Kearton/Getty Images

Aerate the Lawn

Aerating the lawn is useful at any time of year, but particularly in fall because it compensates for all the foot traffic the grass endures over the summer. Besides dealing with soil compaction, aeration makes it easier for fall rains to penetrate thatch and for oxygen to reach plant roots.

Fertilize the Lawn

A fall fertilizing routine can be helpful to your lawn, replenishing grass after summer drought and damage and promoting root growth for a quick start in spring. If you use a weed and feed formula, it will also cut down on weeds, allowing grass the room it needs to thicken up.

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Winterizing your lawn and garden areas helps ready the landscape for the off-season as well as fortifies plants for the strongest start in spring. To apply the right amount of nutrients or lime to your lawn , you must know the existing pH level and the availability of other essential soil nutrients. Having too much or too little of these nutrients or limestone can be harmful. If test results show excessive soil acidity, apply lime according to levels recommended by the soil test results.

Curios how to go about winterizing your lawn mower? It’s not hard. Here’s all you need to know to take the best care of your lawn mower this winter: 1. Cover is Important. Lawn mowers are too expensive for them not to last. Do yourself and your wallet a favor by taking the time to properly winterize your lawn mower, as it is one of the biggest assets in caring for your yard .

Mow One Last Time

While you won't have to do it as frequently as in summer, mowing is still necessary in fall, if for no other reason than to clear leaves and debris that can smother the grass. A late-season mowing is important for another reason: It prevents long grass from matting down over winter and being more susceptible to turf diseases like snow mold.

Rake the Lawn

This may seem like a thankless task now, but your lawn will thank you in the spring when it bounces back. You can use a leaf blower or mulching mower to make things easier. But a good, stiff raking will help remove dead grass buildup that can lead to smothering thatch.

DON'T Rake the Garden

Leaves make a great mulch, particularly if they're shredded and not as likely to blow away. However, for the sake of overwintering butterflies and butterfly larvae, try to keep some leaves intact and undisturbed. If you have extra leaves, use them to mulch rose bushes (remove them in spring) and the vegetable garden (dig them into the soil in spring).

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Yard tasks such as weeding and pruning are much more enjoyable when it’s cooler but not as cold as the winter months. That’s why the earlier you begin your autumn lawn maintenance, the easier it is for you. Trust us, you don’t want to wrestle with a frozen lawn and dead foliage once severe winter sets in! So, if you want to learn how to prepare your yard for the winter season, we have a simple 11-step guide for you. Winterizing your lawn properly will help you improve the health of your grass for the next year. 1. Remove the weeds. The first step in preparing your yard for the harsh winter weather is

Your yard needs some attention, too. Proper pruning and protection of shrubs and trees will help them survive the winter months, and will lead to healthy growth come spring. Identify shrubs and prune accordingly. Shrubs that bloom in the spring should be pruned immediately after flowering.

Seed Bare Spots

Cooler temperatures and more abundant moisture make fall a good time to seed bare and thin spots. If you are planning to seed at the same time you fertilize, use a starter fertilizer, not a weed-and-feed product.

Remove Dead Plants

After the first killing frost, remove dead plant material from the ornamental and vegetable gardens. Compost dead material from the ornamental garden, but dispose of vegetable debris in the trash to avoid overwintering pests or diseases.

Cut Back (Some) Perennials

Cut floppy perennials such as hostas back to the ground once the top portion dies. Allow upright perennials with rigid stems, such as sedum and rudbeckia, to remain for winter interest and to feed wildlife. Cut back to the ground in early spring.

Sow a Cover Crop

Cover crops are quick to sprout and mature. They're also called green manure because they eventually turn over and decompose so their remains replenish the soil. Popular crops include barley, clover, millet and rye.

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Battery care and preventive maintenance is essential when it comes to the off season and winter months, when your lawn tractor or ride on lawnmower will not

I have a loose checklist of how to winterize your yard , which I’ve outlined here. But they can stay on the lawn if you run the lawnmower over them a few times and chop them up. (Here’s another tip: give your lawn one last mowing.) I do toss quite a few leaves into my compost leaf pile made from an old metal hedgehog cage. And more shredded leaves are added to my raised beds to add nutrients between winter and spring.

Protect Trees From Temperature Fluctuation

Where winters are cold, use tree wrap to protect the trunks with thin bark, such as young maples. They're susceptible to southwest injury, a phenomenon that occurs when the sap thaws on a sunny winter day, then quickly re-freezes at night, cracking the trunk. The damage is unsightly and can lead to insect infestation in subsequent years.

Protect Evergreens From Desiccation

While leaf-losing plants go dormant, evergreens continue to transpire in winter. This makes them more susceptible to drying out, particularly if they're already water stressed. Keep evergreens well watered until the ground freezes. Consider wrapping in burlap or spraying with an anti-desiccant.

Protect Plants From Animals

Some woody plants are also susceptible to deer browsing or rabbit gnawing in winter, when these animals are hungry and can't find other sources of food. Most plants will bounce back, but you might want to protect prized plants like Japanese maples with temporary fencing, or by spraying with an animal repellent.

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Protect Plants From People

If you live where it snows, mark off the boundaries of the garden near paths, sidewalks and driveways to avoid accidental damage when shoveling or snowblowing. Also, avoid using de-icing salt near prized plants. Try a salt-free formula or substitute sand. If you do use salt, douse nearby plants with water in the spring if rain is lacking.

Clean and Store Tools

As the season comes to a close, give your tools a good cleaning. Allow them to dry, then wipe down with linseed oil before storing them in a shed or garage.

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