Lawn in Wintertime

How to Prepare Your Lawn For The Coming Winter

As winter approaches, it's essential to prepare your lawn to ensure it stays healthy and vibrant throughout the colder months. Here are some steps you can take to get your lawn ready for winter.

  1. Mow Low: Before winter sets in, give your lawn a final mow at a lower height. This helps prevent snow mold and keeps the grass from matting down. Mowing your lawn low before winter is an essential step in preparing your yard for the colder months. Here are a few reasons why it's important to mow your lawn low before winter:
    man mowing grass

Why Mow Low? 

Disease prevention: Cutting your grass shorter before winter helps to prevent the growth of fungus and disease. Longer grass can trap moisture, creating the perfect breeding ground for various lawn diseases. By mowing your lawn low, you reduce the risk of these diseases taking hold and causing damage to your grass.

Pest control: Mowing your lawn low can also help control pests. Ticks, fleas, and other insects tend to thrive in taller grasses, especially during colder months when they seek shelter from the elements. By keeping your grass short, you make it less attractive to these pests, reducing the likelihood of infestations.

Snow mold prevention: Snow mold is a common problem that occurs when snow covers your lawn for extended periods. It can cause unsightly patches of dead grass and create an ideal environment for other lawn diseases to thrive. By mowing your lawn low, you reduce the likelihood of snow mold developing and keep your lawn healthier.  dog and cat in winter clothes

Easier spring growth: Mowing your lawn low before winter promotes healthier spring growth. When spring arrives, your grass will need all the sunlight it can get to start regenerating. Cutting your lawn short allows more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, stimulating new growth and ensuring a vibrant, lush lawn when warmer weather returns.

Aesthetics: Lastly, mowing your lawn low before winter simply improves the overall appearance of your yard. A neatly trimmed lawn creates a sense of tidiness and enhances the curb appeal of your property, even during the winter months when most plants are dormant.

Mowing your lawn low before winter is crucial for disease prevention, pest control, snow mold prevention, promoting spring growth, and enhancing the aesthetics of your yard. It's an important step in maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn throughout the year.

  1. Aerate: As winter approaches, many homeowners start preparing their lawns for the cold months ahead. One important step in this process is using a liquid lawn aerator. But why is it necessary? A liquid lawn aerator helps improve soil health and overall lawn condition by enhancing oxygen circulation, nutrient absorption, and water penetration. Here are a few reasons why using a liquid lawn aerator before winter can be beneficial: 
    liquid lawn aerator

Reduces Soil Compaction: Over time, soil in your lawn can become compacted due to foot traffic, heavy machinery, or even regular mowing. A liquid lawn aerator helps alleviate compaction by creating tiny holes in the soil, allowing the roots to breathe and grow freely.

Enhances Nutrient Absorption: By aerating the lawn, you provide a better environment for the roots to absorb essential nutrients from fertilizers. This ensures that the grass remains healthy and strong throughout the winter months.

Improves Water Drainage: Aerating the lawn helps prevent waterlogging by improving water penetration into the soil. This is especially crucial before winter, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other diseases.

Promotes Stronger Roots: A liquid lawn aerator stimulates root growth by providing better access to oxygen and nutrients. Stronger roots mean healthier grass, which can withstand the stresses of winter and bounce back quickly in spring.

Using a liquid lawn aerator before winter is crucial for maintaining a vibrant and healthy lawn. It reduces soil compaction, enhances nutrient absorption, improves water drainage, and promotes stronger roots. So, consider incorporating liquid aeration into your lawn care routine this fall for a lush and thriving yard come spring.

  1. Top-Dress: Applying a thin layer of compost or topsoil to your lawn helps improve soil quality and provides essential nutrients for the grass. Top dressing your lawn with compost or topsoil before winter time can provide several benefits for the health and appearance of your lawn. Here are a few reasons why you should consider this practice:

Nutrient Boost: Compost and topsoil are rich in organic matter and essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Applying a layer of compost or topsoil helps replenish these nutrients, ensuring that your grass has access to the necessary elements for growth and vitality.

Improved Soil Structure: Over time, soil can become compacted, preventing proper water drainage and root development. Top dressing with compost or topsoil helps improve soil structure by loosening compacted soil, enhancing aeration, and promoting healthier root growth.

Enhanced Moisture Retention: Compost and topsoil have excellent moisture retention properties. By adding a layer of these materials, you can help your lawn retain moisture during the dry winter months, reducing the need for frequent watering and protecting it from drought stress.

Weed Suppression: A well-maintained, healthy lawn is less susceptible to weed invasion. Top dressing with compost or topsoil helps smother existing weeds and obstructs weed seeds from germinating, creating a natural barrier against weed growth.

Overall Lawn Health: By providing essential nutrients, improving soil structure, retaining moisture, and suppressing weeds, top dressing with compost or topsoil contributes to the overall health and vigor of your lawn. A healthy lawn is more resistant to diseases, pests, and environmental stressors.

Remember, when top dressing, it's important to apply a thin, even layer. Consult a lawn care professional or local gardening center for specific recommendations on the amount and type of compost or topsoil suitable for your lawn.  Top dressing your lawn with compost or topsoil before winter time can provide several benefits for the health and appearance of your lawn.

  1. Fertilize: Give your lawn one last round of fertilizer before winter arrives. Look for a fertilizer with the right levels of nitrogen to promote root growth and resilience during the colder months. When it comes to fertilizing your lawn before winter, it's important to choose the right fertilizer to ensure a healthy lawn in the spring. One common recommendation is to use a slow-release liquid nitrogen fertilizer with a high phosphorus and potassium content.  I recommend something like 3-18-18             This helps promote root growth and strengthens the grass for the harsh winter conditions. It's always a good idea to consult with a local garden center or lawn care professional, as they can provide specific recommendations based on your region and grass type.
    man with sprayer
  2. Overseed: If your lawn has bare spots or thin areas, overseeding can help fill in those gaps. Choose a grass seed suitable for your region and spread it evenly over the lawn. Overseeding your lawn before winter can provide numerous benefits for the health and appearance of your turf. Here are a few reasons why overseeding is beneficial:

Fill in bare patches: Over time, lawns can develop bare spots due to heavy foot traffic, diseases, or drought. Overseeding helps to fill in these areas with new grass seed, resulting in a more attractive and uniform lawn.

Thickens the turf: By introducing new grass seed into your lawn, overseeding helps to increase the density of the turf. This not only improves the visual appeal but also helps to crowd out weeds and reduce the likelihood of soil erosion.

Fixes damaged areas: If your lawn has suffered from damage caused by pests, weather conditions, or improper care, overseeding can help to repair these areas. The new grass seed will germinate and establish itself, gradually replacing the damaged grass.

Enhances resilience: Winter can be harsh on lawns, with cold temperatures, frost, and potential snowfall. By overseeding before winter, you give your lawn a better chance of surviving and thriving during this challenging season. The new grass seed will have time to establish strong roots before the onset of winter, making your lawn more resilient.

Improves overall lawn health: Overseeding introduces new grass varieties that may be more resistant to diseases, pests, or environmental stresses. This diversity can enhance the overall health and longevity of your lawn.

Remember to choose the right grass seed for your region and follow proper overseeding techniques for best results.

  1. Rake and Water: Clear away any debris, such as fallen leaves or branches, to prevent them from suffocating the grass. Water your lawn thoroughly, but avoid overwatering as excess moisture can lead to disease.


  1. Using a Post or Pre-emergent Herbicide. As the winter season approaches, many homeowners wonder whether they should use a pre or post emergent herbicide on their lawns. The answer to this question depends on the specific needs of your lawn and the types of weeds you are dealing with. Let's explore the benefits of both options to help you make an informed decision.

Pre-emergent herbicides are designed to prevent weed seeds from germinating. By applying a pre-emergent herbicide before winter, you can create a barrier that inhibits the growth of weeds in the spring. This is particularly useful for controlling annual weeds such as crabgrass and chickweed. Pre-emergent herbicides work best when applied before the soil temperature reaches a certain threshold, which is typically around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).herbicide

One advantage of using a pre-emergent herbicide is that it helps reduce the overall weed population, making it easier to maintain a healthy and weed-free lawn. It is important to note that pre-emergent herbicides only target weed seeds that have not yet germinated. Therefore, if you already have established weeds in your lawn, a pre-emergent herbicide will not be effective in controlling them. In such cases, a post-emergent herbicide may be more suitable.

Post-emergent herbicides, as the name suggests, are applied after weeds have already emerged from the ground. Unlike pre-emergent herbicides, post-emergent herbicides target actively growing weeds. They work by interfering with the weed's growth and development, eventually leading to their demise. Post-emergent herbicides are effective against a wide range of weeds, including both broadleaf and grassy weeds.

If you have existing weeds in your lawn, applying a post-emergent herbicide before winter can help control their growth and prevent them from spreading further. However, it is important to identify the specific weeds you are dealing with and choose a post-emergent herbicide that is effective against those particular weed types. Some post-emergent herbicides are selective, meaning they only target certain types of weeds, while others are non-selective and can affect both weeds and desirable plants.

Before applying any herbicide, it is essential to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This will ensure that you apply the product correctly and at the appropriate time. Additionally, consider factors such as weather conditions and the current state of your lawn before making a decision. Whether you should use a pre or post emergent herbicide on your lawn before winter depends on your specific weed control needs. If you want to prevent weed seeds from germinating in the spring, a pre-emergent herbicide may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you already have established weeds, a post-emergent herbicide can help control their growth. Ultimately, it is important to choose the right herbicide for your specific situation and follow the recommended application guidelines to achieve the best results.

In Conclusion: By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to ensuring a healthy and beautiful lawn come springtime.

dog running in lush grass