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Getting Your Yard Winter-Ready

It's time to get your lawn and garden ready for the cold weather ahead.

The hazy, hot and humid days of summer are behind us. The air is crisp; the leaves are starting to fall and signaling us that autumn is here! It is time to get your lawn and garden ready for the cold weather ahead.  Following these few tips will help your lawn and garden come up green in the spring!

Keep Mowing!

Grass should be mowed until it slows in growing. The length of your grass is vital in keeping it healthy during its dormant stage. If the grass is too short the cold wind can reach the roots and cause dead sections later in the season. If the grass is too long, the blades can get mold or disease. Stop cutting grass after you notice it stop growing and leave it for a few weeks. This should ensure a good length.

Rake leaves and other debris!

Grass still needs access to sunlight during the winter months. Rake up leaves and debris throughout the season to ensure grass receives ample light and air.  Mold, and disease, is common in winter months when leaves and debris are left over grass. Do not leave trash bags, trash cans or other heavy items on grass for long periods of time as well.

Continue Watering!

One misconception during winter is that grass and plants stop growing, die, and don’t need watering until spring.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once it snows, the melting snow will be sufficient to keep water levels in colder months. The grass becomes dormant and doesn’t have a quick growth output in the winter, but it still needs moisture.

If your garden includes a lawn then the early autumn time period is the best time to re-seed, to fertilize, and to add lime

It’s important that you follow the instruction on your spreader when adding fertilizer and lime and amend your soil according to whatever nutrients you need to put back into the ground.  Re-seeding your lawn with new grass seed is fairly simple and can be done by hand if your lawn is not too large.  Take a soil sample to your local garden supply shop to have the ph tested, and to get their advice on the proper amendments the sail my need. Don’t forget that your plants, shrubs, and bushes can also benefit from an application of fertilizer.  Use a slow-release fertilizer and follow the directions on the package to ensure you apply the correct amount.

Prune trees and shrubs!

This will ensure that the plants will come back healthier and fuller in springtime.  Every bush or shrub has a slightly different pruning method so it’s best to do a little research on how much material to cut off and where in the branch formation you should cut.  

Seal garden pavers, natural stone, etc. 

Before sealing, check to see if new sand is needed in between the pavers to keep water from reaching underneath the walkway.  Check your driveway and see if it is in need of resealing if the current surface is cracked, crumbling, or is in general disrepair.  

Fall is a great time to plant a new street tree!  

Planting a tree near your home increases property value, shades your home during the summer months, and just makes for a better quality of life.  

Take these few steps of preventative maintenance now, to shield your lawn from disease and harmful cold as the winter months set in.  Consider mulching plant beds and landscaping areas to give an extra insulation against cold and harsh winter winds.  Preparing your yard for winter will result in your lawn and garden coming back better and fresher next spring!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rosa S October 03, 2012 at 02:47 PM
thanks for adding link about pruning.

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