How to Protect Your Lawn During the Winter

​It’s no secret that winters bring freezing temperatures. However, most people don’t realize how much damage the winter can do to their lawn. Here are some tips to follow this coming winter season.

Why you need grass seeds

1. Fertilizing

Although it’s cold and wet in the winter, your lawn endures. You need to give your lawn the nourishment it needs to last through the cold season. Fertilizer prepares your lawn for the season. It also prepares your lawn for growing new seeds. To apply your fertilizer, use a spreader. As you grip the handle of the machine, move it across your lawn. The machine should shoot out pellets of fertilizer.

Every fertilizer is different. For that reason, each fertilizer has a different application process. Read the directions on your fertilizer before you apply it. Then, follow the directions carefully. Only use the amount of fertilizer listed on the instructions. If you use too much, the fertilizer can damage your grass. Fertilizer burn can destroy your lawn.

2. ​Aerate Your Lawn

Aeration is one of the keys to protecting your lawn in the winter. It allows you to plant the new seed that can handle the winter weather.

Before planting seeds, you need to aerate your lawn. This gives the grassroots more access to air. To start the process, take a spade and remove spikes of soil for the seeds.

If you have a large lawn, you might consider using a motor-powered aerator. Without one, aerating can be back-breaking work that takes you all day.

​3. ​​Spread Appropriate Seed

If you want your lawn to thrive in the winter, you need cold weather grass seed. You can find seed made specifically for colder temperatures at your local hardware store. It should specify that it’s for the cold season on the packaging. Be sure to read the instructions on the seed before you use it.

Use a spreader to sprinkle grass seeds all over your lawn. By spreading it evenly, you can prevent having both large clumps of grassy areas or sparse areas.

4. ​Rake and Water

​Once the seed is down, you need to rake your lawn. This breaks up clumps of soil and spreads seeds more uniformly. You should also spray it with water to provide it with the necessary moisture that it needs to grow. As the seeds continue to grow, provide them with constant moisture.

​5. ​Keep Your Lawn Clear

Over the course of the winter, you need to continue to care for your lawn. You can protect it from the elements by removing debris, leaves, and other objects from your lawn. Every time the snow clears, remove sticks and other objects that accumulated. It shouldn’t take much time, but it can make a big difference.

When you have objects on your lawn, they crush the grass. They can leave your lawn susceptible to disease, insects, mice, and other pests.

​6. ​​Mow with Care

​You can mow your lawn in the winter. However, you need to do so with care. Instead of keeping your lawn short, maintain it a longer length. Keep your mower height slightly higher than usual. If your grass is too short, the cold is more likely to damage it.

That said, you do need to mow your lawn in the winter. If it gets too long, it can smother itself. You need to maintain an appropriate lawn length all winter.

​7. ​​​Avoid too Much Traffic

On the rare sunny and warm winter day, you might want to get in your yard and wander around, however, you should avoid too much traffic on your lawn. Your grass has enough stress in the winter. When you walk on it too much, you add to that stress.

This is especially true of heavy equipment. If you’re doing any work that requires heavy equipment in your yard, avoid placing it on your lawn. If possible, place it on your porch or patio. Avoid taking it into your backyard via your lawn. If you have no choice, do so with care.

Avoid making one path through the snow. Instead, keep your foot traffic to a minimum. When you do walk on your lawn, do so in a random pattern. This prevents you from creating a single path that kills of your grass.

​Common Myths About Winter Lawn Care

There are several common myths about winter​ lawn care. By learning about these myths, you can prevent making critical mistakes.

1. ​​Winter lawn maintenance is unnecessary

Many people believe that their lawns don’t need maintenance in the winter. However, this is far from the truth. You need to clean up debris from your lawn, mow occasionally, and pay close attention to your lawn.

If you want to protect your lawn form the winter, you need to give it the attention it demands. Be sure to care for your lawn in the cold weather.

​2. ​​Fertilizer is overkill

As you read above, fertilizer is an important part of protecting your lawn during the winter. But it’s a common misconception that the fertilizer is not necessary in the winter. On the contrary, the winter is one of the best times to plant grass seed and to fertilize your lawn.

By planting seeds in the winter, you give your lawn a chance at growing well in the spring. You can also save yourself the trouble of scrambling to prepare your lawn in the spring.

3. ​​​Winter damage is irreparable

Even if you’re diligently prepare your lawn for the spring, it can experience some damage. But don’t lose hope. That damage isn’t irreparable. Your lawn and other plants can bounce back from winter damage. It just requires a little TLC.

Let Us Help

​By working with a lawn care provider, you can provide an extra layer of protection to your lawn. An experienced lawn care professional knows how to protect your lawn from the harsh winter. They also know how to repair any damage that occurs during the winter.


Colin Thomas MacMillan

Colin Thomas MacMillan, CEO of Riverwood Landscape, boasts over 8 years of expertise in landscaping and 3 years in transportation and logistics. A prominent figure, he serves as a board member for the Waterloo Chapter of Landscape Ontario and has been a vital part of the community for five years. Recognized for his insights, Colin has contributed to major industry events, including LeadsCON 2023. His entrepreneurial journey in landscaping began post-high school, driven by a lifelong aspiration and self-taught skills. Outside work, Colin's interests span history and video games, and he's dedicated three years to learning German, reflecting his commitment to personal growth. His professional ethos emphasizes a resilient, people-first approach, advocating for mastering current tasks and prioritizing quality in business and client relations. An avid reader of industry articles and an active networker, Colin's dynamic approach to professional development cements his status as a leader and an inspiration in landscaping and logistics.

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