Prepare the lawn now for spring season

Published on Thu, Sep 11, 2003
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Prepare the lawn now for spring season

Homeowners can increase their chances of a great looking lawn next spring by winterizing their lawn this fall.

Because of this unusually hot and dry summer season, many local lawns have turned brown. But whatever color your lawn is, there are some ideas that can be implemented now to help your lawn grow healthy next spring, such as weed control, fertilizing, mowing, raking and aerating.

�Many of the lawn care troubles homeowners face in the spring, like weeds and poor grass growth, can be avoided by better preparing the lawn for winter,� said regional grass expert Dr. Trey Rogers.

Tips on how to best winterize the lawn include:
� Control broadleaf weeds such as the dreaded dandelion in early fall when they germinate. Apply a regular broadleaf herbicide at a low rate because the weeds are still quite small.
� Fertilize in the fall because when a lawn goes dormant in the winter, well-nourished roots will continue to grow in soil temperatures above 35 degrees.
� If grass will be covered by a blanket of snow in the winter, cut the grass a bit shorter than one- third of the grass blade at the end of the mowing season. This will remove leaf blades that turn brown and go dormant during the winter. It will also make the yard look greener earlier in the spring.
� When raking, remove large piles of leaves, twigs and other debris from the lawn. These elements break down slowly, suffocating the lawn and contributing to rot, mold and other diseases. Grind up leaves and return them to the lawn to add nutrients to the soil.
� Aerate in the fall to help break up compacted soil and remove excess thatch, allowing fertilizer nutrients, sunlight and air to infiltrate the soil.

Free trees available
Ten free white pine trees will be given to each person who joins the National Arbor Day Foundation during September 2003. The free trees are part of the nonprofit foundation�s trees for America campaign.

The trees will be shipped post paid at the right time for planting between October 15 and December 10 with enclosed planting instructions. The six to twelve inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

To become a member and receive free trees, send a $10 contribution to �Ten Free White Pine Trees,� National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, Nebraska, 68410.