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Tips on Getting Your Lawn Ready for Colder Weather

September 25, 2019

Summer is officially over and that means it’s time to start thinking about getting your yard ready for colder weather. And that cold weather will kick in soon. The Denver area tends to get its first freeze around October 7. But after a long summer of caring for your yard, the last thing you want to do is think about watching the growth you’ve cultivated fade. Worse, you’ll start worrying about how your yard will look come spring. 
Your Denver sprinkler installation experts are here for you. Here are a few tips to help you get your grass ready for the cold.
Keep Mowing
When the weather starts to get cold, it’s tempting to stop mowing. But as long as your lawn keeps growing, you’ll want to keep mowing the grass. But once the colder weather starts to roll in more regularly, it’s okay to start mowing your lawn shorter. Keep it about 1 to 1 ½ inches tall. 
Shorter grass is easier to work with when it comes to the rest of your cold weather preparations. The grass will likely stop growing and you’ll be able to stop mowing after a few hard freezes. 
Rake Up the Leaves
Leaves are a hallmark of fall weather, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for your yard. Take the time to rake them up once they start to pile up on your lawn. 
Use a broad leaf rake to make the task easy or opt for a leaf blower if you’re looking for a simple and fast way to clear a larger yard. Once the leaves are in a pile, scoop them up and haul them away to the dump. If you have a compost pile, you can incorporate them into the compost. 
Give the Soil Some Air
Over the course of the summer, the soil beneath your grass can get compacted. When this happens, it puts strain on your lawn’s roots and makes it harder for them to get the nutrients they need. 
The best way to fix the problem is to aerate your lawn. This involves poking a series of holes into the soil all across your grass. Use an aerator from your local hardware store or grab a pitchfork and poke the tines an inch or two deep into the soil.
This helps loosen up the soil and introduces air to the roots. When spring comes, the soil will have more nutrients and be better able to support your lawn and all the activities you have planned for it.
Pay Attention to Dead Patches
Fall is an ideal time to deal with those dead or bald patches on your lawn that never seemed to grow during the summer months. Pick up some seed or a lawn repair kit and spread it on those areas.
While you probably won’t see much improvement during the fall, it will start to fill in when the weather warms back up. Just be mindful about the type of grass seed you select. If you choose a species that’s different from the rest of your lawn, you’ll have a strange patchwork of colors that might not give your yard the look you’re going for. 
Watch for Weeds
Cold weather may cause your grass to stop growing as quickly. But it doesn’t always do the same for weeds. Those pesky plants are remarkably resilient and will keep growing even when the temperatures start to drop. 
Watch for weeds anytime you’re working with your lawn. If you see them, pull them up. For weeds with deep roots, use a hand-held weed cutter to fully remove the roots. Once they’re gone, toss them in the trash or throw them on the compost pile and let them break down during the winter months.
Figure Out a Fertilizer Plan
Believe it or not, soil doesn’t always replenish the nutrients your grass used up during the growing season. Sometimes, it needs a little extra help in the form of fertilizer. This helps give the soil access to nutrients sapped by the roots of your landscaping. But it needs to be applied properly.
Come up with a fertilizer plan and stick to it. For most lawns, you’ll want to fertilize at least a little once the grass is entering its dormant phase and again in the spring to make sure it has everything it needs to grow well. If you’re not sure what to do for your grass, speak with a landscaping team and let them help.
Schedule a Sprinkler Blowout
You’ve relied on your sprinkler system to keep things looking great during the growing season. But once the ground starts to freeze, it puts all the water lines and sprinkler heads at risk. And a broken or ruptured pipe is both expensive and time-consuming to repair.
The best way to keep anything bad from happening is to schedule a sprinkler blowout when you’re ready to stop watering your lawn. This will help get rid of any excess water in the lines and freeze-proofs your system so you won’t have to worry about those cold winter nights hurting your sprinklers. 
Let the Lawn Sit
Once the lawn starts to brown and stops growing, you’ll want to avoid using it as much as possible. Move heavy furniture away from the turf and try to minimize the impact your family’s activities will have on the grass.
Make sure guests don’t park on your lawn and find alternative places for kids to play whenever possible. The occasional soccer or football game on the turf won’t destroy your winterizing efforts. But repeat activity and heavy foot traffic can do damage that will be tough to repair before the growing season starts up in earnest. 
These Tips Are a Great Place to Start
Your lawn is not a low-maintenance part of your landscape. You need to care for it and give it the attention it needs. Use these tips to get started and set yourself up for a successful spring ahead of time. 
Just don’t forget to give your sprinkler system a little TLC. Contact us today to make an appointment.