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Prepare Your Garden for Winter

Lawns should be put to bed over winter at the same height they are maintained over summer. Fall fertilizing gives your lawn the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

There are a few tips you should follow when preparing your lawn for winter.

Mow grass to a height of 2-1/2 inches and leave clippings on the lawn. This simple step returns at least 25% of the turf's nitrogen back to the soil. Lawns should be put to bed over winter at the same height they are maintained over summer. Taller grass ensures a deeper root. Short grass can make the lawn susceptible to winter damage. Moisten and aerate the lawn. Aeration creates passageways for essential nutrients and worms that contribute valuable microorganisms to your soil. Overseed now for a thicker healthier lawn in spring. Finally, fertilize the lawn. Fall fertilizing gives your lawn the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Scotts Wintercare lawn fertilizer energizes turf, producing a strong and healthy root system and ensuring it emerges greener than ever when spring arrives.

SEE ALL THE STEPS

  •  There are 4 steps to completing this project:
    Step 1  Soil Preparation
    Step 2  Choosing the Right Seed
    Step 3  Spreading the Seed
    Step 4  Feed and Water
MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED

  • Scotts Wintercare Fertilizer
    Scotts Lawn Soil
    Scotts Turf Builder Sun & Shade
TOOLS YOU WILL NEED

  • Gardening Gloves
    Leaf Rake
    Scotts Broadcast Spreader

Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

1  Soil Preparation


Rake your lawn to remove any leaves or use a mulching lawn mower to mulch leaves until they are small enough to settle in amongst the blades of grass. It is important that the grass seed makes contact with the soil so dethatching your lawn with a dethatching rake or aerating your lawn is also good at this time. If those options are not available then it's a good idea to rake in a thin layer of enriched soil over your lawn. Don't put so much down that you kill your grass; less than a quarter of an inch is plenty. Scotts® Lawn Soil works well for this purpose.


2  Choosing the Right Seed



What seed you choose depends on where you live and what problem is making your lawn thin in the first place. For instance, if your lawn is shady, choose a shade-tolerant seed. If kids play in your yard, choose a variety that can stand up to foot traffic. The people at your neighborhood Home Depot can help you choose the seed that's right for your lawn.


Spreading the Seed

3  Spreading the Seed



Prepare your lawn by cutting it a little shorter than normal the day before you over seed. Then fill up your spreader and go. Be sure to follow the instructions on your seed bag.


4  Feed and Water



New seed needs to be watered daily — enough to keep the top inch of soil constantly moist. If the soil dries out the seeds may not germinate. You should feed your seeds right away with a product such as Scotts® Turf Builder Wintercare fertilizer. This will fertilize your existing lawn and prepare it for the winter as well as provide the new seedlings with the nutrients that they require. Next spring your lawn will come up greener and healthier with less weeds.


What You Need for This Project