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How to revive your lawn after winter and avoid long-lasting damage: experts

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According to experts, winter weather can cause long-lasting damage to your front lawn – the key to a healthy revival lies in a few simple maintenance practices.

The first step is to clear the debris left by the winter conditions.

“You want to clear debris before grass starts growing in the spring,” Paul Hope of Consumer Reports told CTV News Toronto. “If you have a dense bed of leaves anywhere on your lawn it’s actually going to block out the sunlight and keep the grass from growing properly.”

According to Sara Stricker, researcher with the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, the best thing you can do for your lawn is to overseed. You can use whatever seed is best suited for your lawn.

Hand-weeding and proper fertilization will also help, she said.

No Mow May? Maybe not: expert 

While a movement called “No Mow May” has grown in popularity over recent years, Stricker advises against cutting off more than one third of any plant’s length at one time as it can cause stress and damage. The idea was born of a desire to promote flower growth for pollinators, but there are alternative methods that can achieve similar results, she said.

"We’re just saying, consider getting a flower pot,” Stricker said. “Your lawn grows best when it's cut regularly, based on its growth rate.”

Consumer Reports said you may want to raise the mower deck higher to let your grass grow longer as taller grass has deeper roots and you can also set your mower to mulch as the clippings provide nutrients to your lawn.

You should also clear the grass that's stuck under your mower deck and using a silicone spray on the deck can help keep clippings from sticking. If it's been a while since you’ve had your lawn mower blade sharpened it may be worth doing.

The most recent tests by Consumer Reports also found that battery-powered lawn mowers continue to get better each year. Many now have run times of over an hour and you also don't need to mess with oil and gas which is good for the environment and also your wallet.

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