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.

From: DK Books - Gardeners Guide
Similar Topics:
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

©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

©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

©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

©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.

Next Up

How to Make Your Fall Lawn Look Just Like Wrigley Field

Tips and insight from the manager of one of the most famous baseball fields in the country.

How to Treat Your Lawn in the Fall

Keep your lawn healthy in the fall and learn how to repair damaged turf with these step-by-step instructions.

Fall Lawn Care: How to Repair After a Drought

Summer can leave lawns hard and patchy. Try these tips for improving a summer-damaged lawn. 

Winter Lawn Care

Learn what you should do over winter to keep your lawn looking great next spring and summer.

Caring for Your Lawn Year-Round

Use this seasonal guide to keep your lawn and other outdoor spaces healthy throughout all four seasons.

How to Winterize Your Lawn

Learn what to do to prepare your lawn for winter. Taking the right steps in fall prepares your grass for quick spring greening.

Two-Toned Lawn

Master gardener Paul James solves the mystery of the brown-and-green lawn.

How to Repair Your Lawn Sprinkler

Learn how to inspect and replace damaged risers and heads in a lawn sprinkler system.

How to Care for Your Lawn

Learn how to properly care for your lawn all year round with our expert tips on mowing, watering and feeding your grass.

Guide to Growing a Lawn

Discover the best lawn choice for your yard with this guide.

1,000+ Photos

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

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

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