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Do-It-Yourself Winter Lawn Care

by Gabby Hyman
Repair Home Columnist

No matter where you live in the country, your lawn needs winter care. That may seem hard to believe if you live in a town that's covered with snow much of the winter. But if you love using your lawn in the summer months, there are plenty of outdoor items to add to your winter home-improvement to-do list.

For residents of cold-weather winters with plenty of snow, it's a good time to remember that your grass needs you. Snow mold is a fungus that appears in early spring on lawns that were buried in snowdrift. Before spring, spread out all large snow piles on your lawn to encourage swift melting. When grass is soggy for long periods of time in the spring, the mold (pink and gray varieties) sets in to work on your tender shoots and can kill off your lawn.

Warmer Weather Lawn Care

Depending on your climate and length of winder, there's plenty to do if your lawn is exposed during late winter months. Consider contacting your local lawn contractor for tips on soil pH testing and aeration. Depending on the composition of your soil, winter can be a prime time for treating pH with lime and other additives. Paring down heavy thatch that's more than a half-inch deep and aerating your grass in the late winter or early spring can give fresh life to your lawn. These are easy home improvement projects that you can do to break up the cabin fever from work you've done indoors during inclement weather.

If you're considering a new lawn for spring, winter is a great time to plot out your campaign ahead of schedule. Local lawn care contractors can tell you which variety of warm-season or cool-season grasses thrive in your community. Plan ahead if you hope to use a specific seed blend (which may be ordered before the spring rush), whether you're using plugs, or contracting for a complete sod installation.

If your community experiences an early spring, it may be time to apply your initial fertilizer for the year. Most lawn care fertilizers should go in no sooner than April first. You'll want to use slow-release nitrogen nutrients. Avoid pre-emergent herbicides for crabgrass if temperatures are still dipping below 60 degrees.

Any winter home improvement plan that ignores simple lawn-care chores may be shortsighted. Come spring, when you hope to show off your indoor improvements, you'll want your lawn to look its best.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.