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Getting Your Lawn Ready for Winter: Five Easy Tips

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

To water or not to water? To mulch or not to mulch? Getting your lawn ready for winter is simpler than you think. A few tips like feeding and watering can help your lawn stay healthy through the cold.

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Feed your lawn before the cold sets in

Keeping your lawn fertilized is always a good idea, but it's especially important before the winter season, when it may not get the chance to have a "good meal" for months. Fertilizing your lawn keeps it healthy with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which fortify your lawn and keep it green and strong through temperature changes.

Bonus tip: Treat bald spots in your lawn with plenty of seed and water to take advantage of the cooler temperature.

Monitor the mulch

Many landscaping experts recommending mulching during the fall months, while others say this tip is overrated. If you do, make sure not to mulch too much, and don't forget that all those pesky fallen leaves can serve as good mulch.

Bonus tip: Give yourself a break: mow instead of rake. Leaf particles are full of good food for your lawn.

Give your lawn one last haircut before winter

Keeping your lawn too lawn can expose it to fungus growth, especially in regions with high moisture. Give it a once-over, and don't forget to winterize your mower before you lay it to rest until spring.

Keep your lawn moist, not wet, until winter sets in

During the fall months, lawns should get around one inch of water every two-to-three weeks. (If you live in a region where rain is plentiful, you're off the hook). Too much water can expose your lawn to fungus growth when the temperature drops, but just enough will keep it healthy before the cold months.

Save your sprinklers

If you have an automatic sprinkler system, make sure to switch it off without disconnecting it, so you don't lose your programmed watering schedule. Draining the pipes is also a good idea, and even wrapping the exposed sprinklers with insulator tape can help preserve them.

Taking a few simple steps like the ones above can not only keep your lawn healthy, but help save on cost when spring comes around and it's time to revitalize your yard.

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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