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Three Great Tips for Pre-winter Lawn Care

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

You don't have to wait until spring to fertilize and revitalize your lawn. If temperatures in your region haven't reached the freezing point yet (or if they won't at all), these tips can give your lawn an extra boost as we head into the colder months.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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  1. Keep winter weeds at bay.
    Some weeds, like hen bit and chickweed, take root during the winter. Although they may hide from sight, they may spring up as soon as spring comes. They are called "winter annual" weeds, meaning they germinate in the late fall and sprout during the spring. Be proactive with these pests by using herbicides early, in November, and prevent them from taking root.

Tip: Looking for an herbicide that will work in cold temperatures? The herbicide carfentrazone is a good choice for regions where the Fahrenheit falls below 50 degrees, when used with other broad leaf weed killers.

  1. If you're going to feed, do it soon.
    Lawns need nitrogen from fertilizer to stay healthy before they go dormant for the winter. If temperatures in your region have already fallen below 50 degrees consistently, you may want to let your lawn lie. If you still have a few warm weeks left, consider a last seeding and fertilizing in target areas of your lawn.

Tip: feeding and protecting don't mix. If you're seeding your lawn before winter, take caution not to use herbicides in that area.

  1. Don't forget trees and shrubs.
    If your lawn is bordered by any trees and shrubs, don't forget that these yard elements need attention too. Wrap any young or thin-barked trees in winter garden wrap to prevent "scalding" from the cold, and make sure all of your trees and shrubs have amble soil before temperatures fall below 40 degrees.

Tip: If you give your trees and shrubs one last prune before the cold sets in, go easy. Over-pruning can damage their health in temperatures lower than 40 degrees.

Simple tips like these are good investments for strong roots, thick growth, and good, green color in your lawn come spring.

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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