Step 1: Mow Low

roger cook showing how to mow low to prepare your lawn for winter
Photo: Kindra Clineff
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Cut the grass down to 1 to 1½ inches, making it easier to aerate and to judge how much compost to add. If your grass is more than 3 inches tall, take it down incrementally over a few mowings—no more than a third of the grass blade at a time—to avoid stressing the plants.
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    Tools List

    • lawn mower
      Lawn mower
    • Core aerator
    • wheelbarrow
      Wheelbarrow
    • snow shovel
      Snow shovel
    • rotary spreader
      Spreader (rotary or drop)
    • plastic rake
      Leaf rake

    Shopping List

    Aged compost: One cubic yard covers 648 square feet.

    Starter fertilizer

    Any recommended soil amendments

    Grass seed