Fall may be one of the most beautiful seasons for New Englanders, but as most are all too aware, what follows is anything but pleasant. Homeowners may be able to curl up by the fire with a nice mug of cocoa to stay warm, but that same luxury does not extend to lawns or outdoor fixtures.
Winterizing your yard is just as important as stocking up on salt and sturdy snow shovels. Preparing your lawn for the cold season can ensure that it stays vibrant and healthy come spring, meaning you won’t have to worry about whether your grass will look good once that ice finally clears.
Follow these simple steps to winterize your yard before that cold front moves in.
Love your lawn
The first step toward winterizing your yard is prepping your lawn. This means dedicating a weekend in December to really care for and treat your grass, work on your garden and figure out what you’re going to do with all those hanging plants. Start by raking any leaves, then mowing the grass about an inch longer than you would in the summer months. The blades should be substantial enough to last through the frost, but short enough that they won’t get matted and grow mold. After that, get out your gardening gloves and go weeding.
When it comes to actually treating your grass, The Farmers’ Almanac recommends sowing grass seeds right before the temperatures dip to freezing. Start by aerating the lawn, then spreading grass seeds over the soil. Don’t forget to generously water your lawn – otherwise, the seeds won’t be effective.
Clear the clutter
Once you’re done using that seed spreader, you’ll want to keep it safe it in your outdoor storage shed. In fact, you’ll need to keep all the tools you used for your lawn – including the rake, garden gloves, weed eater and sprinkler – protected once the ice and snow roll in. After treating your lawn, give the yard a once over and search for items that would be harmed or damaged by the freezing temperatures. This could include delicate plants, grills or outdoor structures, furniture, and lawncare items.
Watch it in the winter
Just because you’ve treated your grass and cleared your yard doesn’t mean that your work is done. Your outdoor area may be winterized, but you’ll need to check up on it consistently during the next several months and clear away debris so that when springtime comes, you’ve got a clean slate.