How to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

Get your lawn in shape to cope with winter by giving it a little TLC in the fall.

Related To:
raking leaves

raking leaves

raking leaves

Materials Needed

  • rake
  • garden fork or aerator
  • horticulture grade sand
  • broom
  • top dressing (soil)
  • shovel

Step 1: Clear Debris

Clear Leaves and Debris from Lawn with Tined Rake

Clear Leaves and Debris from Lawn with Tined Rake

The first major chore to tackle before winter is raking the last bunch of leaves. Rake the surface firmly to remove any embedded debris or moss.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

A layer of dead grass and other material, known as thatch, can build up on the surface of the soil, impeding drainage, encouraging moss, harboring fungal diseases, and preventing the strong growth of grass. Clear any leaves or other debris from the lawn in fall. Rake the lawn surface firmly to remove any embedded debris or moss.

Step 2: Spike Holes

Use Aerator Over Surface of Lawn for Drainage

Use Aerator Over Surface of Lawn for Drainage

Use a garden fork or special aerator with spikes punching holes all over the lawn to aerate it and improve drainage.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Using a garden fork or a special aerator (as shown here), spike holes into the lawn all over the surface to aerate it and improve drainage.

Step 3: Fill Holes

Brush Dry Sand Into Aerated Lawn for Air Flow

Brush Dry Sand Into Aerated Lawn for Air Flow

Brush dry fine sand into the holes to prevent them from closing up, allowing air and water to pass freely into the root zone. Use horticultural grade sand.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Brush dry fine sand into the holes to prevent them from closing up, allowing air and water to pass freely into the root zone. Only use horticultural grade sand.

Step 4: Spread Top-Dressing

Spread Dry Top Dressing Over Surface of Lawn

Spread Dry Top Dressing Over Surface of Lawn

Spread dry top dressing over the surface of the lawn to help improve drainage and to level out hollows. Use a brush or the back of a rake to work it into the grass evenly.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Spread dry top-dressing over the surface to help improve drainage and to level out hollows. Use a brush or the back of a rake to work it into the grass evenly.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How To Prepare for an Open House

Get It Sold host and home-staging expert Sabrina Soto shares her 15-tip checklist on what to do before opening your house to buyers.

How to Build a Retractable Canopy

Control the shade by making your own retractable canopy. Open it up to create a shady retreat or close it to let the sun in.

How to Remove Wallpaper

How do you remove the wallpaper without damaging the wall – or yourself? Use these tips to help you decide which option will work best.

How to Distress Furniture

What's old is chic again. Follow these step-by-instructions for achieving a distressed look on furniture.

How to Freeze Spinach

Freeze fresh spinach leaves—homegrown or store-bought—to create your own dark leafy green to flavor hot dishes and smoothies.

How to Kill Mold

Killing mold is a dirty job, but the right tools can help you wipe it out for good. Check out these tips for using the best cleaners to solve your fungus problem.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Vintage Flip

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.