Step 2: Aerate

roger cook showing how to Aerate and prepare your lawn for winter
Photo: Kindra Clineff
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On a day when the soil is moist, not soggy—the core aerator's hollow tines can't easily penetrate hard, dry ground—take a couple of passes around the lawn's perimeter. This will provide a buffer zone for turning this heavy machine around as you run it back and forth over the rest of the lawn.
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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