8 Winter Lawn Care Tips for Northern Virginia Homeowners

Written By: Todd Thomasson

Once winter arrives with its snow and ice and bitter winds, you are probably concerned about keeping your driveway clear, making sure you have your ice scraper handy, and ensuring you can get anywhere you need to be for the holidays.

These things definitely rank higher on your stress list than your lawn. 

But even though your grass is the furthest thing from your mind this season, that gorgeous, green grass you love requires special attention in every season – winter included. 

Not only can you better prep your lawn for the cold weather, but you can also do a few things to ensure it bounces back from a long, harsh winter. And all it takes is a little assistance, since your lawn is quite resilient. 

Let’s talk about how to take care of grass in winter to ensure you can give your lawn the best care possible through the coldest season of the year.

8 Winter Lawn Care Tips in Northern Virginia

You want a great looking lawn in spring, right? So this means taking care of your lawn in winter and in the weeks leading up to winter. 

Follow these lawn care tips for winter to ensure your grass grows strong and is ready to come back when the growing season resumes. 

You might feel prepared for winter in Northern Virginia. You’ve probably located your ice scraper in your garage or storage area and put it in your trunk or backseat in case you need it. Maybe you’ve saved some great recipe ideas for upcoming holiday get-togethers. And you may have also found your family’s sleds or snowman accessories, as well as holiday decorations and lights, so you’re ready for winter plans.

Read Our Complete Guide to The Perfect Lawn
 What you probably haven’t thought about, though, is your lawn. I mean, it’s going to be covered in snow anyway, so what kind of preparation does it really need, right? 
 
Actually, thinking your lawn needs no winter prep would be wrong. You can certainly do a few key things now to ensure a healthier, happier lawn come springtime. 
 
Let’s talk about preparing your lawn for winter and how this can help reduce your spring stress and elevate your home lawn’s health for the coming seasons.

How To Prepare Your Lawn For Winter: Important Tasks To Put On Your To-Do List

Preparing your lawn for winter actually helps get it better prepared for the coming spring’s flush of growth. And it’s really essential to ensure a healthy lawn. You do want a healthy, great-looking lawn, right?  
 
Here are some of the key elements that make up a good lawn prep for winter program in Northern Virginia.

1. Fertilize Your Lawn

Fertilization might be something you think about only during spring and summer, but fall fertilizer and a winterizing fertilizer treatment provides essential nutrients to your grass to help prepare it for winter weather. 

How? First, lawn roots actually grow actively from September through December. This helps them grow deeper. Better roots means a thicker lawn that can withstand anything Mother Nature throws at it. 

lawn care expert fertilizes grass

Then, when spring comes back, your lawn utilizes the stored nutrients from a slow-release granular fertilizer to help make it lush and green. 

Lawns like this that receive good winter lawn maintenance are the ones that repel weeds and look amazing all year long.

2. Keep the Lawn Clear Through Winter

As you finish up fall yard work, don’t leave anything behind. 

That means raking up all the leaves or blowing them off of your lawn. You can mulch leaves with a mulching lawn mower so in smaller pieces they can break down, decompose, and add nutrients to your lawn. Other options include raking them up into piles and disposing of them or using a lawn blower to blow them off of your lawn. 

healthy green grass

Why? Things that are left on the surface of your lawn will matte it down during winter. Then, add snow and ice on top of that, and you create an environment that invites mold and lawn disease to sneak in. 
 
Lawn care tips for winter include cleaning up your lawn before snow begins falling. If you leave piles of grass clippings and soggy leaves on your lawn, this can weaken it and cause wear and tear that you’ll have to address come spring.

3. Keep An Eye On The Lawn as Winter Comes to An End

As winter starts winding down, you can do your lawn a favor by breaking up large piles of snow and ice on your lawn and spreading them out to ensure they melt away faster. 

This helps ensure things like snow mold don’t form on your lawn and that your lawn isn’t blocked from getting access to the sun’s warmth in spring.

4. Aerate Your Lawn

How to take care of grass in winter includes ensuring good airflow in the soil and eliminating compaction. 

lawn care technician aerates lawn

What is the best way to do this? Through aeration before the first frost. Aeration is the removal of small soil plugs with an aerator, and it gives your tired, worn, compacted lawn a chance to more easily receive oxygen, nutrients, and water at the root-level where it’s needed most.

If you do it earlier in the fall, you can also overseed and topdress the soil along with aeration to fill in any bare spots and improve the soil. Overseeding is the perfect addition to aeration because those removed plugs create the ideal holes for grass seed to contact the soil. This improves the germination process considerably, making overseeding more successful in strengthening and thickening your lawn. On top of that, topdressing adds good organic matter to the soil to improve its overall health and ability to provide a great growing environment for your grass.

5. Mow a Little Shorter During the Final Mow in Fall

You may have done a great job keeping your lawn at a 3- to 4-inch height during the growing season. 

lawn care expert mows grass

But now right before winter is the time to cut it a bit shorter at 2.5 inches as a part of lawn care tips fo winter.

6. Stake Your Driveway to Prevent Winter Damage  

Winter can be mild or it can bring heavy piles of snow. As you clear snow and ice from your walkways and driveways, you have to be careful not to damage your lawn. 
 
Placing snow stakes at the edges of your lawn to mark where the pavement ends can help ensure you don’t accidentally scrape up areas of grass as you shovel snow.

7. Revive the Grass in Late Winter/Early Spring

Your grass may look a bit rough once the snow clears. Winter is rough for all of us – your lawn included. 

In early spring, you can help your lawn out by lightly raking the lawn to ensure the turf isn’t matted down and that any leftover fall leaves or dead grass are removed. 

Remember to do this lawn care tip for winter when the soil is dry and not muddy to avoid overworking or damaging the grass. Be gentle.

8. Hire a Lawn Care Pro

When it comes to winter lawn care tips in Northern Virginia, it can be hard to figure out what lawn care products work best, buy the right equipment to do the job properly, and learn to apply it properly. You might not even know how or have the time to correctly carry out all of these steps.


When you hire a lawn care professional, you eliminate any worries, hassles, or incorrect applications. Your lawn gets cared for properly during all the seasons, and you can rest assured nothing is being left out.

How to Take Care of Grass in Winter Means Bringing In Turf’s Up

When you and your family are all cozy inside watching a movie or playing games by the fireplace, you want to make sure you’re not doing anything to jeopardize the health of your lawn. 
 
By investing in a complete, proactive lawn care program, including winter lawn maintenance, you can continue to improve your lawn, keeping it looking its best all year long.
 
Not sure if your lawn is ready for winter? Give Turf’s Up a call. We can create a program for your lawn so that your soil gets the nutrients it needs to create thick, green grass with fewer weeds. Then all you have to do is settle in for winter and enjoy the season knowing your lawn is taken care of. 
 
Ready to learn why Turf’s Up could be your totally awesome choice for lawn care services in Leesburg, Ashburn, and Aldie, VA? We’re stoked to learn more about you and help you have the best lawn on the block. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we can prepare a customized plan that is perfect for you and your lawn. 

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