Everybody wants that lush, green lawn in the spring and summertime, but not everybody realizes that a big part of having that is maintaining your lawn during the fall and winter months, when sunshine is more scarce and growth is slower.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take a ton of work to keep your lawn healthy all winter. Here are five things you should do for your grass right now.

Mow

During winter, you can probably get away without mowing for extended periods of time, just because the grass isn’t growing as fast as it was in the summer. But you should still keep on top of it. And mow it short. You want as much sunlight as possible reaching the grass. Tall, overgrown grass will filter some of that out, and hurt the health of your lawn.

Aerate

Aeration is about getting more air, water and sunlight to the root system of your grass. Winter is a good time to do this because those things are in shorter supply. You have plenty of options for getting it done. You can rent walk-behind aerators, or you can by a manually operated aerator and just walk around jamming it into the soil and pulling it back out. Whatever suits your fancy, of course, but get some air in there.

Rake

Are you noticing a pattern, here? The reason it’s important to rake is that the leaves will keep the sunlight from reaching your grass. If you don’t like raking, you can use your lawnmower to mulch them all up, but do it quickly, before your grass starts to get choked out.

Patch It Up

If you have a bare spot in your yard, fall is the ideal time to take care of it. Most stores that sell lawn stuff will have some all-in-one mixtures containing seed and fertilizer. Pick the right type of grass, sprinkle it down, and water. That patch should start filling in in no time. Make sure to keep watering for a couple of weeks.

Fertlize

Now that your grass is nicely cut, your bald spots are filled in, you’ve aerated and you’ve raked up all the leaves, it’s time to put down some fertilizer. If you only do this once, make sure to do it in the fall. This is because, although the leaves are growing more slowly in the cool, dark fall, the roots are still growing as quickly as ever. So the fertilizer will be used by your grass to deepen and expand the root system, not push up a bunch of leaves you’re just goign to mow anyway.