Don’t leave the Tree leaves. you can’t grow healthy turf grass under a mat of tree leaves.
Many turf pros make two fertilizer applications to prepare turf grass for winter. They schedule one in late August or September to aid in recovery from drought and heat stress, and another in October or November. Fertilizing turf grass in the late fall keeps it greener than unfertilized turf grass during the winter, and speeds spring green-up by two to six weeks. The enhanced rate of spring greening occurs without stimulating excessive shoot growth, in fact, far short of what takes place with early spring fertilization. Early fall and winter boost of fertilizer will cause the grass to continue growing and thicken (as you know "winterizing").
Recommend fertilizer for this would be UREA 46-0-0 or any leftover fertilizer used during the growing season to save cost.
Ways to prevent winterkill turf
Turf grass winterkill can be caused in most three different ways
- direct low-temperature stress to the hydrated crowns of the plants (the main issue)
- low temperature fungi
There are several cultural practices to lessen the chance of low-temperature kill:
- Providing adequate surface drainage
- Controlling thatch, which can harbor organisms that cause snow molds (also remove leaves)
- Raising the mowing height to increase low-temperature hardiness, but not allowing it get excessively long, which increases the danger of diseases
Providing adequate levels of potassium and phosphorus as well as nitrogen. Do rely upon soil tests by county extension office or etc.