The Ant and The Grasshopper: How to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter Thumbnail image

If you have never heard the legend of the Ant and the Grasshopper, it basically shares the moral that preparation for the next season is generally a good idea. This applies to many areas of life, but one which is often overlooked is the care of your lawn.

As the summer comes to a close, we know that in Minnesota, we are actually only a few weeks away from the first hard freeze. These are critical times to properly prepare your yard for winter. A few quick, easy steps today can make all the difference to the health of your outdoor space come springtime. Here’s where to start.

1. Get Rid of Leaves

As leaves accumulate on your lawn in the fall, they can pose a risk to the health of your grass. Make sure to keep your lawn well-raked in the fall months, and leading up to the first freeze, get rid of the piled leaves.

One option is to hire a lawn-care service to haul them away. Another is to start a compost pile where you can also toss fruits and vegetables, soil, yard clippings, and sawdust. This compost can prove useful in the springtime. Making use of a mulching mower to distribute the leaves throughout your lawn is also a viable option.

2. Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating is an essential step in prepping your yard for the long Minnesota winter. Choose to aerate on a day when the grass is moist, but not soaked, and be sure to irrigate a few days before your aeration. Start aerating along the perimeter of your lawn first, and work towards the middle. If you have built up compost in your newly minted compost pile, you can use the compost to fill in the aeration holes.

3. Lower the Mower

In the weeks leading up to the freeze, start to lower the mowing setting on your mower, easing the grass to a height of about 1-1.5 inches for the winter. This shorter length will prevent any unwanted critters from nesting or burrowing in your grass during the colder months.

 4. Fertilize and Overseed

The late autumn is an excellent time to invest in a high-phosphorus fertilizer that can strengthen the soil through the winter. Spread your fertilizer with a rotary spreader and avoid dumping too much in one particular area. If you have questions on which fertilizer is right for you, take a soil sample to your local garden house or co-op for evaluation.

Next, fill the rotary spreader with grass seed and sprinkle a top coat throughout your lawn. Be aware that this overseeding pass is not meant to be as robust as a full seeding, such as in the springtime; aim to use about ⅔ of the seed. After spreading, be sure to rake the seed into the soil and splash the lawn with water.

Upgrade Your Lawn with Minnesota Equipment

With locations in Rogers, Savage, Isanti, and Ham Lake, the equipment dealers and experts at Minnesota Equipment stand ready to help you acquire the right gear for your lawn project – and put it to use. With best-in-class equipment inventory and helpful, qualified professionals to help answer your inquiries, we can help you tackle any project. Visit us at our website to connect with a professional near you.