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Winter Lawn Care Tips

by Marcia Passos Duffy, All About Lawns Columnist

Your lawn needs care--no matter where you live and what the season--even if the grass is covered in snow for much of the winter. Don't neglect your lawn because it's cold outside. Here are tips for early, mid and late winter lawn care:

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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Early Winter

  • Check pH levels. Before the snow flies, check the pH of your lawn's soil and treat, if necessary, with lime. Early winter is also a good time to aerate your lawn.
  • Fertilize. Lawns become semi-dormant in the winter. Fertilize before it enters this state, since the lawn can use the nutrients to make it through the season. But don't over-fertilize--use only half the amount you would normally use.
  • Give a last mow. Continue to mow your lawn until growth stops: October in USDA zone 4, November in zones 5 and 6.

Mid-Winter

  • Clean up. If there is snow on the ground, walk around the property and pick up any fallen branches, logs, or other debris. Snow that falls on debris can smother the grass underneath it.
  • Stay off the lawn. If there is no snow on the ground, try not to walk on the frozen lawn, as it can break and wear down.

Late Winter/Early Spring

  • Snow mold control. Spread out large snow piles to encourage melting. Snow mold--which can be pink or gray--is prevalent on lawns that are wet for long periods of time, and can kill grass.
  • Watch for soil compaction. It's fine to clean up your lawn when it warms up--but avoid walking on too-wet lawns--for example, when you sink into the ground. This can compact the lawn and kill the grass.


About the Author

Marcia Passos Duffy writes frequently about agriculture, farming, lawncare, and gardening. She is a member of the Garden Writers Association. Visit her site at www.backporchpublishing.com




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