Now’s the time to prepare lawn for next year

After a few months of barbecues, children’s games and scorching temperatures, your lawn probably has seen better days.

By following a few simple tips, you can transform a damaged lawn and keep it green and healthy throughout the season.

• Fertilize — This critical step feeds your lawn and helps it grow. It also will allow your lawn to store as much food as possible before going dormant for the winter. A properly fed lawn will recover more easily the following spring.

• Seed — To fill in a thin lawn or bare spots, add seed. Use a professional power seeding service to get the job done faster and spend your time enjoying the cooler temperatures.

• Aerate — Aeration lets your lawn in-crease its uptake of nutrients and oxygen.

This is essential to revive the lawn after such common stresses as high temperatures and lack of moisture. Aerating also combats compaction that may have occurred from foot traffic.

• Apply grub control and check for pests — Treating for pests now is critical be-cause if you wait until spring, your lawn will suffer. As the season progresses, you should undertake a few additional tasks to help protect your yard. Proper maintenance now will ensure the health of your lawn and trees for next year.

• Remove leaves at least once a week — Raking or blowing your lawn clean is vital because leaves block sunlight.

A leaf-free lawn can store more food for its winter dormancy, resulting in a healthier lawn in the spring.

• Winterize trees and shrubs — Before temperatures drop and the wind rises, protect your evergreens from moisture loss by treating them with anti-desiccant material.

• Winterize your lawn mower — To store your mower safely and guarantee that it will be ready to go in the spring, winterize it. The end of mowing season is a great time to address routine maintenance and any necessary repairs.