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What should I do to prepare my newly planted lawn for the winter?

Q: What should I do to prepare my newly planted lawn for the winter? The Pearl’s Premium grass is now 2-3 inches tall; the remaining old grass is about five inches tall, and I have a lot of fallen leaves in some areas. Should I mow? Should I blow or rake the leaves off of the new grass?

A: In the fall, use a leaf blower to remove most of the leaves. If you do not have a blower, carefully rake away dry leaves. Then, check to make sure your mower blade is sharp. For this final fall cut, reset the mower to a lower setting, so you’re cutting the lawn down to 2 ½ inches high (during the summer, set the sharpened mower blade higher, so the grass stays 3-4 inches tall at all times). It’s OK to leave a small amount of leaves on the lawn to be mulched in by your mulching lawn mower for the final cut of the fall season. Continue to use the leaf blower periodically to keep leaves from shading the grass, and so that acids from a heavy layer of decomposing leaves don’t kill the new grass.

Next spring, it is good to over-seed once more in the early spring with Pearl's Premium Lawn seed, and put down a little organic fertilizer to help your lawn thicken up. The grass needs to be at least 3 ½ inches high to shade the soil before the annual crab grass seeds sprout when the soil temperature reaches 70 degrees F. Most of the annual Crab grass is easy to get rid of with tall cut and thick seeding of Pearl's Premium grass. Perennial weeds like Creeping Charlie may get an early start, so some hand-pulling may also be helpful. See also weed tips at the end of our installation instructions.