How to Get your Lawn Ready to Survive the Winter

Backyard of grass

While grass may not stay green all winter, there are a few key steps you need to take before the winter weather sets in to help protect the growth you had this year and set it up for healthy growth in the spring. 

How To Prepare Lawn For Winter: 

Keep Your Lawn Healthy Through the Fall

While fall leaves in your yard may be beautiful, if left there too long, they can become harmful. Lack of removal can result in smothering immature, new grass which will leave you with a lackluster lawn come spring. Protect your yard by keeping your lawn raked regularly, keeping wet leaves off your grass and avoid walking on your grass once frost is present. 

A few tips to make raking a little easier: 

  • Use a tarp to move leaf piles.
  • Mow your lawn to collect leaves if possible.
  • Pull the rake towards you in a straight line instead of at an angle.
  • If there aren’t too many leaves you can mow right over them to create finely chopped mulch which can improve the quality of your soil.

The most important part of raking is that you ensure all leaves are off your lawn before the snow begins to fall. 

Rake Your Lawn

After fall, your lawn may have leaves and other debris that can cause your grass plants to suffocate during the winter. The debris can invite diseases and unwanted pests to your lawn. Quickly dragging a rake over your lawn can help break up soil clumps, remove built-up thatch, and better cover any seeds you’ve spread.

A few tips to rake responsibly:

  • Don’t rake leaves into streets, ditches or storm drains.
  • Research if your community provides a fall yard debris collection service.
  • Collect your fallen leaves into a compost bin to use in your garden come spring.

Get Rid of Weeds

A lot of prepping for winter is really more about prepping for spring. As winter annual weeds, like purple henbit and chickweed, start to grow pro-active weed control is recommended to prevent them from germinating your entire yard. If you leave your lawn with weeds for the winter, that’s the first thing that will show up in the spring. Weeds also weaken the soil, making it more difficult for healthy growth after the harsh winter months. Luckily, just like grass and plants, weeds are feverishly soaking up all the nutrients and moisture they can get before winter, making it the perfect time to attack them with weed killer! 

Limit the Use of De-Icers

Long-time residents of the Chesapeake area know that January can be cold and sometimes snowy. If you use any de-icing salt, make sure you use it very carefully. The build-up in and around the soil can damage grass and other plants. If you must use a de-icing agent, opt for one containing calcium chloride-based mixtures versus the more harmful sodium chloride-based ones.

Ask Your Local Experts

If you’re concerned about your lawn heading into this winter season, ALM is here to help. As local experts in the Virginia area, we’ve been helping keep lawns vibrant and healthy for more than 15 years! Whether you have questions about mowing or concerns about weed treatments, our experts are here to help with all your lawn care needs

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