The Q&A Archives: Preparing Yard for Winter

Question: Knowing that winter is approaching, I have a fairly large section of my back yard that I have done nothing with. I don't plan on planting a lawn just yet but the soil is cracked and has dead weeds. I can clean off the weeds, but what would you suggest I do with the soil? Add sand, topsoil, or compost until next spring? Thanks again...Dave

Answer: My suggestion would be to get rid of the dead weeds (hopefully you can just rake them away) and then lay down several thicknesses of newspaper, followed by a 3-4" layer of aged-manure or compost. If you wet it down well it should form a hard enough surface to remain in place throughout the winter months. By the time spring rolls around, the newspaper will have decomposed and you can rototill or dig the manure or compost and newspaper residue into the soil, rake it smooth and either seed or sod the area. A 3-4" layer of organic matter, coupled with the layers of newspaper will keep weeds from sprouting in the area, and the combination, when incorporated into the area will result in nice, loamy soil.

Best wishes with your project!

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