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Care for lawns Before Winter

Be on The Lookout For Snow Mold

October 3, 2012
By SCOTT McCLOSKEY - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - To keep a beautiful lawn year-round, the proper care throughout the fall and winter months is equally as important as the warmer months, according to Ohio County Extension Agent John Miller.

"This is the time of year that you can do some things in the yard that will vastly improve your lawn for next year," said Miller. "First of all we recommend aeration and over seeding."

The aeration process helps get more oxygen to the roots of the grass plant through a process where you use a "plug type aerator" to remove small plugs of grass and dirt from your lawn, according to Miller. He said following the aeration process, you should give the lawn plenty of time to dry before using a mesh wire apparatus to "backdrag" any loose dirt or sand into the remaining plug holes throughout the lawn.

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Photo by Scott McCloskey
Ohio County Extension Agent John Miller recommends the proper care for lawns throughout the fall season is just as essential to keep them looking good year-round.

"What that does is open up the ground for air and moisture ... and when you drag it, it levels out any rough spots," said Miller. Following the aeration process you should apply about a pound of grass seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn surface, according to Miller.

"This is the perfect time of year for grass seed to get going - the days are warm but the nights are cool - so it's good on those young seedlings," Miller added.

He said November is a good month to fertilize the lawn, thus giving the fresh grass a chance to build up a root system.

Miller said to also make sure you keep your grass mowed throughout the fall months to avoid a lawn disease called "Snow Mold," which can attack your lawn over the winter season. Snow mold appears as a pink or grayish fungus that appears on grass in the spring, and is exacerbated by leaving grass too long or not raking away the extra leaves going into the winter snow season. Miller said letting the grass grow too long can smother out the grass.

In addition to the proper lawn care going into winter, Miller recommends that it is always beneficial to give your lawn mower and lawn tools the proper care and cleaning before putting them away for the winter season.

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