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Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

Getting your lawn ready for winter is essential to protecting its year-round health. Neglecting this crucial work will cost you in the spring, when minor trouble spots may develop into major problems.

Raking Leaves.

Get Your Lawn in Order

  • Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you're off the hook for mowing. Continue to mow the lawn until the grass stops growing. Not only will it present a more attractive appearance, but it will make raking easier, too.
  • Rake leaves (and the remnants left after you mow) to prevent areas of your lawn buried under leaves from being sun-deprived.
  • Keep trees and bushes healthy by removing decaying or dying branches.

Protect Plants with Mulch

Mulching will help you prepare your yard for winter by guarding plants against colder temperatures and harsher weather. Spread it around the base of trees and shrubs in your yard. To prevent stems and bark from rotting, pull mulch away from woody stems and tree trunks one to two inches.

Wait until the first hard freeze, and apply the mulch two to four inches deep around your plants. Cover the soil evenly and completely, but do not pack it down.

Create a Compost Pile

The fall is an excellent time to start your own compost pile. It will give you a way to put your yard waste to good use as a superb soil supplement.

  • When picking the perfect location for your compost pile, make sure it's close enough to your garden to allow you to easily carry material back and forth.
  • Start the pile with green material, from leaves to clippings and non-meat kitchen scraps. The second layer should be brown material, including garden soil, brown leaves, straw and coffee grounds from your kitchen. Thoroughly moisturize these layers before adding another green layer, and top it all off with garden soil.
  • Throughout the season, turn your mound. When it's black, crumbly and sweet-smelling throughout, your pile will be ready to use as garden fertilizer.

Freshen Up the Garden

Your garden needs seasonal refreshing just like any other area of your home. Follow these easy steps to give your garden a boost:

  • Remove any annuals that have seen better days, but make sure you leave their roots to decompose and enrich the soil.
  • Clear out any plant debris from the beds and borders of your garden to prevent mildew, mold and other problems that can result from stagnation.
  • Pull any leftover weeds from your garden.