How to Prep Your Lawn for Winter

PHOTO BY KINDRA CLINEFF

PHOTO BY KINDRA CLINEFF

While the days are still hot and muggy, it’s hard to think about winter, but with a little prep work now, your lawn will be ready for winter. The end of summer is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for a lush green lawn in the spring. We found these 6 easy tips from This Old House.

  1. Mow Low
    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.
  2. Aerate
    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.
  3. Top-Dress
    Where grass is sparse, prepare for seeding by spreading a half-inch layer of aged compost. I hold a snow-shovelful in the crook of my arm, fling it off with my free hand, as shown, then work it in with a leaf rake. Be sure your compost is cured: dry, crumbly, and cool to the touch. If it’s hot and smells, it’s more likely to harbor pathogens and burn your lawn.
  4. Fertilize
    Distribute fertilizer and pelletized lime (if needed) using a rotary spreader. I use a high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth; but you should let the soil test determine the best mix for your conditions. To keep the spreader from dumping too much fertilizer in one spot, open or close the hopper only when the spreader is in motion.
  5. Overseed
    Fill the spreader with seed, set its control to about two-thirds of the bag’s recommendation, to account for overlapping passes, and distribute the seed over the compost. As when fertilizing, keep the spreader in motion when opening or closing the hopper. For large areas, you can save time by renting a power overseeder, which slices the turf and drops in the seeds. It eliminates the need to rake in Step 6.
  6. Rake and Water
    Mix the seeds into the compost with a leaf rake held tines up, as shown. Water lightly—5 minutes at a time, two to three times a day—until the seeds sprout. Then water once a day for 15 to 30 minutes. Mow the lawn again when the existing grass reaches 3 inches; bag the clippings. After leaves have fallen, cut the grass back to 1½ inches for its long winter’s nap.

Find out more at https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-prep-your-lawn-winter.

3 Steps to Selling Your Home

As you’ve probably seen, the real estate market changed in 2016. Overall, the market is strong, with many neighborhoods seeing homes sell within days and/or with multiple offers. But, real estate is very localized and not all neighborhoods, types of homes, or price points are seeing the same thing. It’s important to know what is truly going on—not only in the real estate market, but also specifically in your neighborhood and price point.

Here are three simple steps to prepare and inform yourself before selling your home. Find out more about each step and how you can prepare and inform yourself before listing your home for sale at www.petersenpartners.com

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How to Find Out What is Your Home is Really Worth

home-valuesHome prices in your neighborhood have changed over the last few months. Is your home worth more than you think? Whether you are thinking of selling or refinancing, make sure you have trusted information about your current home price.

Find out what your home could sell for in today’s market! Check your home’s real value for free at www.petersenpartners.com and INSTANTLY receive a report that shows you the recently sold homes near you and how your home compares.

Get trusted advice about local market conditions from experts in the industry. Get in touch with your neighborhood experts at info@petersenpartners.com or 770-379-8040. Find out more about the #1 Team in Georgia for Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices at www.PetersenPartners.com.

Fall Maintenance Checklist

As the weather changes and before the days seem to get shorter, there’s a few simple maintenance routines and easy chores you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape this winter and heed off potentially costly repairs. We found this great list from HouseLogic. Click here for more detailed information.

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Prep Your Yard for Fall

From our friends at This Old House, here are some helpful tips to prepare your lawn for fall and the changing weather.

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BOLSTER A THIN LAWN
Rent a core aerator from the home center (about $90 per day) to remove plugs of soil from the lawn; run it over damaged sections to improve drainage and get oxygen and nutrients down to the roots. Rake a thin layer of compost into holes. Then sow seed a little heavier than usual and gently mix into the compost with the back of a rake. Water as directed on the seed bag.

Watch Roger Cook aerate a lawn

 

DIVIDE AND MULTIPLY PERENNIALS
Uprooting plants and pulling them apart may sound cruel, but it actually rejuvenates them. Water well a day or two before digging all the way around a perennial, 6 inches from its base. After prying out the root ball, tease roots apart, leaving groupings of three to five shoots. Share extra bounty with friends.

Learn how to divide overgrown perennials

 

SAVE SEEDS
Be sure to stay ahead of the birds. Snip off seed heads and let them dry for about a month on paper-lined sheet pans. Separate out the dried seeds and slide them into marked envelopes or jars. Now you’ve got a head start come spring.

Read more on collecting and saving seeds