By this time most years, you would have mowed your lawn one last time, breathed a sigh of relief, winterized your mower and pulled out your snow blower. Not this year. As I’ve written here several times this season, this isn’t a normal year. You still have to mow at least one more time. Sorry.
If you didn’t mow your lawn before this last, frosty weekend, you should lower your mower to two inches and give it one last mowing. It isn’t good for the grass to go into winter dormancy long.
If your grass is long when it goes into winter dormancy, it will hold more moisture than short grass. This can lead to various turf diseases and unsightly, matted grass that will be exposed when the snow melts in spring. Think about the difficulty drying long hair versus short hair after a shower.
You may be able to combine two tasks into one – mowing and leaf mulching. Unless you have mountains of leaves on the grass surface, you can use the mulching feature on the mower to chop leaves up finely and let them fall on to the lawn. There, they’ll decompose over the winter and fertilize the lawn. If more leaves fall, there’s no reason why you can’t run the mulching mower over the lawn again, unless it has been unusually rainy, in which case you’ll have to rake or blow.
Whatever you do, though, don’t let the leaves stay on the lawn. Like long grass, leaves will retain the water from melting snow and provide the perfect climate for fungal diseases to infect your valuable turfgrass.
A little preventive maintenance in the fall can go a long way toward assuring a lush, green lawn in the spring.