Want Your Lawn to Survive the Winter? Here’s What You Need to Know

Winter isn’t typically the time many people think about lawn care, but just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your lawn should be ignored. Winter is just as important when it comes to laying the groundwork for a healthy lawn in the spring. Before you put away the lawn mower and prepare for a few months of no weeding or grass mowing, here are a few things you can do to ensure you’ll have a lush, green lawn come spring.

Pre-Winter Mowing

It is important to mow your lawn short for the winter, especially in areas of the country, such as Illinois where there is a risk of heavy snow. About one month before winter arrives, gradually lower the cutting height each time you mow, until the blades are as low as they can go. Snow can cause high grass to lay over on itself, causing reduced air circulation that can lead to snow mold and/or permanent damage to the grass. After your last mow of the season, prepare the mower for spring by draining the gas tank, change the oil and clean the underside of the mower.

Final Fertilization

Late fall is the perfect time to aerate and give your lawn a final fertilization. Clear the lawn of any debris, such as toys and gardening equipment before you aerate and fertilize. Aerating your lawn before the first freeze will help to reduce the thatch next spring and a good round of fertilization will allow your lawn to store much needed nutrients in the root system, both of which will prepare your lawn for beautiful spring growth.

Dormant Perennials

If you have dormant perennial plants, cut back brown tops. Do not cut the tops if they are still green, wait until they turn yellow or brown. Trees and shrubs typically do not need any special care before winter; as long as proper pruning and trimming was completed in the early fall.

Remove lawn furniture and store in a dry location, such as the garage. Make sure to gather winter lawn equipment from the back of the garage before placing spring and summer equipment in. If necessary, take snow throwers and other winter equipment in for professional servicing before the first snow falls.

Contact Ralph Helm Inc. to schedule routine servicing and maintenance on your summer and/or winter lawn equipment.

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