Like it or not! But with just a little preparation now, you can head off a whole lot of springtime headaches. Here’s your season-ending to-do list:
Keep mowing. Throughout the fall, keep cutting your grass to its maximum recommended height until it stops growing or goes dormant. Then drop the blade a notch and mow one last time.
Give it a bedtime bath. Before the temperature falls to 50°F, give your lawn a final wash-down with my Fall Cleanup Tonic (below). How come? Because a lawn that goes to bed clean in the fall is more likely to wake up healthy in the spring.
Mix 1 cup each of antiseptic mouthwash, baby shampoo, and chamomile tea in a bucket, then add 2 cups of the mixture to a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, filling the balance of the jar with warm water. Overspray your turf, and follow up with your regular fall lawn feeding.
Protect your borders. Before the first snow flies, liberally spread a 5-foot band of gypsum over the turf along roadsides, walkways, or any other surfaces that could be hit by salt from your town’s de-icing trucks. The mix 1 cup of dishwashing liquid and ½ cup each of ammonia and beer in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, and apply the solution over the gypsum to the point of runoff. Your soil and grass should sail through the winter in fine shape.