TruGreen ‘Grass Guru’ Steve Welch gives his top turf treatment tips for winter.
With an unrivalled passion for lawn care and over four decades of industry experience, Steve Welch became Brand Leader for TruGreen, the world’s largest lawn care brand after many years of working in stadium management, including Grounds Manager for Wembley Stadium.
“Wherever grass grows, it will require care and attention throughout the year. Failure to prepare will only prepare you for failure,” says Steve.
Today, after working in lawn care for over 14 years, he says that the essentials of managing turf do not differ no matter the sector, as the same level of treatments and mechanical operations are required to maintain the quality.
“Lush green lawns do not just happen overnight,” he says.
“It takes care and regular maintenance.”
Including the all-important process of aeration.
During the late autumn and winter months, Steve advises using a solid-tine mechanical aerator for the best lawn results.
“While certain weather conditions may make aeration less likely during the middle of winter, this does not mean you cannot prepare your lawn for what is to come,” he says.
Aeration is essential to allow a better flow of air, water, and nutrients to the grassroots.
This combats soil compaction and can aid in breaking up thatch so that the grasses have near-perfect conditions to grow.
“Aerating the lawn before the worst of the winter weather and while there is still some growth will allow you to maintain good drainage and a strong and dense grass cover during the shorter days, which in turn will reduce the chances of moss becoming a problem, which is very common in many domestic dwellings where the environmental conditions can be restrictive.”
With this in mind, Steve says it is vital to schedule further aeration in spring to allow your lawn’s roots to once more access air, moisture and nutrients and achieve robust, early-season growth.
“While aeration will go a long way to maintaining lawn quality, it is not the only process that needs to be considered,” says Steve.
Applying the correct fertiliser is equally essential.
“Autumn and winter fertilisers are designed to protect the grasses during the colder winter months,” says Steve.
“They are low in nitrogen and higher in phosphate and potassium to aid the strengthening of the roots and leaf of the plant. Applying an autumn/winter fertiliser will also increase the grass plant’s tolerance to disease and will result in fewer chances of winter-related diseases such as Microdochium Patch becoming active.”
Steve adds that while aeration and applying fertilisers are essential to maintaining the quality of a lawn during the winter, with milder conditions with less frost and snow becoming common in recent years, it may be necessary to mow your lawn occasionally to remove ragged growth.
“While the temperature will dictate the number of times you mow the lawn, it is beneficial to remove the ragged growth whenever necessary. Preferably using a lighter rotary mower, with the height of cut set at 30mm.”
Steve’s final advice is to never mow after heavy rainfall.
“This will only aid in sealing the lawn surface and undo all your work using the aerator, resulting in grass loss and the likelihood of moss becoming a problem.”
Need winter lawn treatments?
If you’d like to benefit from years of expert industry knowledge to achieve a picture-perfect green lawn, contact your nearest TruGreen business to see how our range of professional treatments can help you today.