(NC) There’s no doubt that there’s some confusing advice out there when it comes to preparing your lawn for the long, cold days of winter ahead. That’s why we’ve put together a few simple steps for you to follow. Not only will you have a lawn that looks and feels great in the spring, but you will be contributing to a greener world.

To fertilize properly and achieve the benefits of a thick, healthy lawn, homeowners and turf management professionals should follow the 4Rs of fertilizer use: the right source at the right rate, the right time and the right place.

Plant roots tend to go dormant in the driest parts of summer and in winter when the ground is frozen. So, it’s important to focus on fertilizing in the spring and fall when plants need nutrients the most. Avoid applying fertilizer if heavy rain is expected, or if the ground is frozen.

Look for a fertilizer with higher nitrogen (N) and potassium (K), the first and last numbers on the bag. These are the nutrients that help promote a stronger root structure, disease resistance and hardiness to not only withstand drought in summer, but also to survive the winter and bounce back in spring. If in doubt, just read the bag.

After you are done fertilizing, store any leftover fertilizer sealed in its original container in a dry place for use next season or share by giving it to a neighbour or relative, or donating it to a community group.

Like all living things, lawns need food to stay healthy. You can find more helpful information about the right way to fertilize your lawn before winter at greenerworld.ca.