Protecting your lawn: steps to prepare your yard for Michigan winter

We're only a week into a fall and it's only going to get colder. If you want to protect your lawn, here are five steps to have a nice green yard next spring and summer.

What you do to your lawn in the next few weeks will greatly impact how your lawn will look next spring. Corey Alexander, Branch Manager of Lush Lawn in Plymouth says get it fertilized now.

"Fall time, going into winter, i do recommend is keeping the lawn fertilized. Keeping the lawn fed, think of it as giving vitamins to a human - just keeps you going. I recommend cutting the lawn about this time of year, two-and-a-half to three inches high. And then definitely watering the lawn, too. People think this time of year, I don't have to (water the lawn), it's getting colder, definitely keep that lawn watered," he said.

So which fertilizer is right this fall? They may all look the same - but they're not.

"There's plenty of different types of fertilizer. I definitely do suggest to homeowners a granular fertilizer, the benefits to that, it is going to last much longer, and it's usually timed release. And definitely you can control different ratios, so you can pick fertilizers that have higher potassium, which is going to be what your lawn needs in the fall time going into winter," Alexander said.

Beyond watering, cutting, and fertilizing, irrigating is key to that perfect lawn. But how often? Twice a year.

"If it's in the budget, I always tell homeowners spring and fall works best. Spring and fall are going to basically do the same purpose: allowing more air, water, and nutrients in the spring makes it look nicer over the course of the summertime. If we have droughty summers like this year, in the wintertime, it is basically going to help set the lawn up for good success the following spring."

One key step, Alexander says, is dethatching your lawn.

"It's a practice where basically it's a big metal rake, and you kind of rip it through the lawn. Analogy I like to give: if I have gel in my hair, if I take a fine tooth comb and brush it through, it will damage a lot of my good hair. It's the same thing with the grass, so aerating the lawn, a core aeration will basically do the same thing without doing any damage to the lawn," he said.

Lastly, Aaron Samson, the CEO of Lush Lawn says, even if you don't want to do it, get out and clear up the leaves.

"Definitely want to rake those le aves. If it mats down over the winter, it will make the soil acidic, kill the grass, suffocate it. It's going to be a problem. You want to get them up before the first snowfall," Samson said.

Check out more information from Lush Lawn here. 

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