If winter got away from you this year, and you weren't prepared to give your lawn the care it needed before the cold weather set in, you'll want to get head start on it for next year. Now is the perfect time to get your game plan together for next year's winter lawn care strategy. One thing you need to know about your lawn is that just because it's brown doesn't mean it's dead. Your lawn is very much alive during the winter. It's just gone into a dormant stage, which basically means it's sleeping through the winter. That's actually a good thing because while your lawn is sleeping, it won't need much care. However, it will need some care prior to the arrival of winter. Here are three steps you can take to get your lawn ready for next winter.

Take Care of the Critter Activity

If you've got problems with pests in your backyard, you'll need to take care of them before winter arrives. You might think that once winter arrives, the problem will go away. Unfortunately, that's simply not the case. This is particularly true of gophers and moles. During the winter, you might not see them poking their heads up, but that's just because it's too cold. They're actually underground, destroying your lawn from the bottom up. Before winter arrives this next year, hire a pest control technician to come out and trap the pests you have in your yard.

Clear the Lawn Before Winter Arrives

During the summer, your lawn is probably filled with lawn furniture and kids' toys. That's fine during the warmer weather. However, once winter arrives, the clutter on the lawn can actually kill it, especially if it stays there all winter long. Towards the end of fall, go out in your yard and pick up anything you can find laying in your grass. Keep your lawn clear throughout the winter. Keeping your lawn clear throughout the winter will prevent you from finding large dead patches when spring arrives.

Cut It Short for the Last Trim of the Season

When the weather is warm, you want to keep your lawn a bit on the long side. That's because the longer blades help protect the roots from the harsh summer heat. However, during the winter, you actually want your lawn to be as short as possible to prevent mold growth and pest activity. When you mow your lawn for the final time next year, lower the blades for a nice, close trim. Don't forget to lift them back up again though. You'll want to go back to the longer growth once spring arrives.

Make sure you have the right equipment on hand to cut your grass short. If your old mower is starting to fail, look for new ones through a company like Potestio Brothers Equipment, Inc.