Creating More Living Space Outdoors

Winter Is Coming: Is Your Lawn Read?

by Emily Flores

Are you preparing your lawn for the coming winter? While most people don't give a lot of thought to their grass as the cold weather approaches, doing a little planning and preparation will help you maintain a green lawn in the spring. Here are 4 steps for prepping your yard for winter.

Blow Out the Sprinklers

If you have an irrigation system installed, you will need to prepare it for the winter by performing what's called a "blow-out". This is simply a way to remove all the excess water left in the pipes so that it doesn't freeze and cause damage to the pipes. A professional landscaper or lawn service can probably do a blow-out for you if you don't know how to get the job done yourself.

Once the pipes are emptied, set your automatic sprinklers to "rain" settings to prevent them from watering during the winter. Cap any holes or access points in the system to prevent pests from getting inside and cover outdoor spigots with insulated foam caps (available at home improvement stores).

Clean Things Up

Before the snow begins, be sure to clean up the yard in preparation. Objects that cover the lawn when it begins to snow or freeze can cause dead spots, mildew or other damage by the time it melts in the spring. So put away furniture, toys, bicycles and unused container gardens for the winter.

Similarly, piles of leaves or debris should be picked up and disposed of so they don't create inviting homes for pests like insects and even small rodents. As an added bonus, when you begin your lawn maintenance in the spring, you will not have a mess to clean up before beginning maintenance for the new year.  

Mow a Little Lower

The last few times you mow in the fall, lower the height of your mower one notch each time. Most grasses do better when dormant if they are shorter rather than longer. Don't cut lawns down to the bone -- exposing the delicate crowns of the grass -- but trim it shorter to help protect it from the cold. This will also help avoid damage to frozen grass when walked upon.  

Shovel Snow

It's important to clear the snow from walking paths regularly during the winter. Not only is this often mandated by city ordinances and provides better safety for visitors, it also ensures that your lawn doesn't get unneeded foot or car traffic. If people can follow the clear paths in the snow, they will not need to trudge across the lawn. Paths across the lawn used by people or vehicles in the snow will make those areas harder to green up in the spring or even result in the need to re-seed spots.  

With some attention to even a dormant lawn, you will save yourself time and money correcting problems in the spring. 

To learn more, contact a lawn care company like Superior Lawn and Landscape