Preparing Your Lawn for Winter
In this post, I’m going to share with you how to begin preparing your lawn for Winter, as well as your outdoor areas in general.
In order to show some things you can do to help in preparing your lawn for Winter, I’m going to go over what I generally do to get ready. I’m also going to show you the ugly truth about what my outdoor area looks like right now, and how I’m going to clean it up!
I’ve been extremely busy lately (as I’m sure most of you are as well), so my outdoor space has been a little neglected. I know winter is coming in just a few short months, and I want to get it cleaned up and ready for the potential winter weather. Now is the perfect time, while the weather is still pretty nice.
Ok, so here are a few pictures of my front yard. I’m going to share these with you (don’t judge me) 😄 and then talk about what I’m going to do to clean it up.
As you can see from the pictures, I have my work cut out for me. Not very many leaves have fallen just yet, but it’s always good to get ahead of the game and rake them up as they fall. So I’ll need to clean up the leaves and any branches in the yard and flower bed areas.
When preparing your lawn for Winter, this is also the perfect time to plant grass seed.
We have a lot of bare spots where no grass is growing, so I want to get grass seed and either top soil or straw, and spread some in the bare areas. There’s a lot of shade in the front, so we’ll need to go with a shade tolerant grass seed.
Tip: The best months to fertilize your yard are in September, October and December. Or as most refer to it, SOD.
We’ve lived here for almost two years now, and the previous owners left us with a mess of a yard, so we’ve worked hard to have it looking as good as it does. But as with anything, getting everything you want done takes time.
They must have had some sort of stepping stone style path leading to the front door, as there is no sidewalk. There are a few of the slate pieces left, and I want to FINALLY get those up while I’m doing some clean up.
Eventually I want to make a new walkway from the driveway to the front porch, but I’ll save that for another post…
In the meantime, I do want to go ahead and get these out of the way.
They’re just kind of randomly hanging out in the yard, and removing them will help neaten up this area, and make it easier to rake up leaves without them being in the way.
Moving on, we have a huge Spruce tree in the front yard that tends to start taking over our driveway. We usually trim the branches back and try to neaten it up every now and then.
“The fluffy tree” as we affectionately call it, is starting to slowly creep back into the driveway, so we need to trim the branches once again.
We try to give it as even of a trim as we can, but it’s quite tall, so reaching the higher branches is a challenge. Downright impossible, to be honest.
Leaves and other yard debris tend to collect under the bottom branches that cover the ground. I try to get as much as I can cleaned out.
I have more lawn prep information on our outdoor decorating ideas page if you’d like to check it out!
Preparing your lawn for Winter – Our mailbox flower barrel
We recently replaced our old, weather beaten mailbox with a new whiskey flower barrel, post and the mailbox itself. We planted wave petunias in the Spring, but as you can see, they are looking quite…neglected. I suppose that’s one way to describe them in their current state.
Anyhow, I’m going to remove all of the dead flowers – and the weeds that manage to live through anything – and then turn the soil with my hands to aerate it.
This will also remove any remaining roots from the petunias.
A perfect Fall flower that tends to bloom even into the Winter months is the pansy, so I’ll be replacing the petunias with those.
That way, we’ll still have some plant life and pretty colors to surround our mailbox with.
Like our whiskey barrel planter? Here’s where to find it!
I want to add that I will also be cutting back my plants and shrubs, but this is a step you don’t want to do until after the first hard frost. That is the time when it is safe to cut back your perennials. This is another important step in preparing your lawn for Winter.
The hard frost signals that it’s time to go dormant until Spring. If you cut them back too soon, they could start to grow back, and the hard frost could kill them permanently.
Preparing your lawn for Winter – The backyard
Moving on to my mess of a backyard. Keep in mind I’ve been super busy lately…
So here we go. In this picture you’ll see our fire pit area, which needs some cleaning up. I need to get the chairs in order, and the leaves and pine needles will need to be raked. We’ll put those in the fire pit for burning, and enjoying a nice Fall evening bonfire!
We’ll be using the chairs a little while longer, so they’ll stay for now. Once it starts getting colder, I’ll store them away through the Winter months. Storing them will protect them from the weather, which will help them last awhile.
Our deck needs some TLC as well. I’m going to clean it up, and organize and store away what I can. Anything that we no longer need or want will be thrown away. Going through all of this now saves a lot of time in the Spring.
Our deck is in desperate need of replacing. This is a time consuming project that we have been unable to get done just yet, as we plan on replacing it ourselves.
If this weren’t the case, I’d say as a part of preparing your outdoor area in genera for Winter, Fall is the perfect time for pressure washing and sealing or staining your deck.
For now, I’m just going to clean it up, put away our chair cushions, and anything else that shouldn’t be left out through the Winter.
We did a raised bed garden for the first time this year, and it did quite well. It needs to be cleaned out, so I’ll be taking care of that too. Honestly anything that you can get out of the way now really makes a huge difference once Spring arrives!
We’ve been working on our gutters and need to finish cleaning those out too. I like to ensure they’re free of any debris so they can do their job properly and efficiently.
Our tools will be stored away, and I’ll clean out the garden. That way when Spring arrives, all we’ll have to do is till the garden and place our plants!
A garden that’s dying out is also just not that attractive looking, which is another reason I’d like to get it cleaned up.
I’ll also work on any bare spots in the backyard that need to be seeded. Once all the seed has been spread, I’ll spread some weed and feed over the yard as well.
To summarize, preparing your lawn for Winter is much more than just preparing your lawn. It’s really about preparing your entire outdoor space. For me, it just makes things easier, and everything looks a lot neater through the Winter months. Winter can make it’s own mess sometimes anyway.
It also allows me more time to enjoy Spring when it arrives. I’ll have more time to focus on other things I’d like to do in the warmer seasons.
Once I get all of this done, I’ll update you with pictures to show you how much better the yard will look after I’m done! I hope this will help you and give you some ideas on preparing your yard for Winter!
See you in the next post!