4 Ways to Winter-Proof Your Lawn

Prepare your lawn for the snowy months ahead.

By Nancy Kalish from Reader's Digest | October 2004

Want a lush lawn come spring? Give it some TLC before the first frost.

Clean it up. The first of its kind, the Ames True Temper’s Clog Free Rake uses a wave design to prevent leaves from sticking to the tines — and you from constantly bending to remove them ($9.99).

Hate raking? Use a mower with a bag attachment to catch leaves, says Paul James, host of HGTV’s “Gardening by the Yard.” If there’s just a sprinkling, use a mulching mower to shred leaves right on the lawn.

Give it some air. “Aerating increases air and water penetration, helping grass develop healthy roots for winter,” says Lance Walheim, author of Lawn Care for Dummies. Gas-powered core aerators easily pull plugs from soil; they rent for about $35 an afternoon. Then overseed thin spots and lightly cover with sterile compost.

Feed it well. “If you only fertilize once, do it 6 weeks before the first frost,” advises James. Turf grasses will use the nutrients over the winter.