Pharos-Tribune

Community News Network

October 24, 2013

How to get your lawn ready for winter

Autumn is the perfect time to do repair work on your lawn, which may have been stressed by the summer heat and may now be infested with unwanted weeds. In addition, depending on where you live there are things you should do to prepare your lawn for the coming winter.

One of the most common end-of-the-season problems is “thatch,” a build-up of dead grass and other materials that can accumulate on the surface of the soil, blocking drainage, promoting fungal-related disease and impeding the growth of healthy grass.

So a first step in getting your lawn ready for winter is to rake it thoroughly, getting up leaves, pine needles and other debris. Once the lawn has been raked, use a pitch fork or lawn aerator to make small holes over the surface of the lawn. This aerating will allow the easy movement of water and air to grass roots and promote overall plant health.

Once you have created the holes, fill them by brushing fine horticultural sand into them. Otherwise, they will just close up on their own. Filling them with sand keeps the air and water flowing.

Autumn is best

Lawn care experts say autumn, not spring, is the best time to work on your lawn. Jim Welshans, regional turfgrass educator at Penn State University, suggests lawns with cool-weather grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, and perennial ryegrass should be fertilized in two waves, the first in early fall and the second around Thanksgiving, but before the ground is frozen.

He recommends a fertilizer high in phosphorus. However, the best way to make sure you're putting down the right fertilizer is to get a soil test through your county or state extension agent. There are geographic exceptions, of course. Hold off on fertilizing in the desert Southwest and deep south. The grasses prevalent there usually go dormant in the winter and don't need fertilizer.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.