Our lawn care expert Steve Welch is here to offer garden owners advice to protect their lawns this winter. Even whilst the grass growth is dormant, there are still many issues that can affect the quality of your grass next spring.
Only mow your lawn when necessary; the amount that you mow will depend upon the weather conditions. Do not mow your lawn if heavy frosts are expected or if the ground is very wet. Lift the height of your mower to cut it to around 30mm during the colder winter months.
Clear leaves and debris
Use a spring tined rake or brush to keep the lawn free of leaves and debris. This simple process will prevent grass loss through lack of light and air getting to the plant.
Winter aeration can help to maintain drainage within your lawn and it will also encourage air to reach the roots, improving the plants’ health.
Don’t try and rake the moss out of your lawn before it’s been treated as this will only spread the spores and increase the infestation come the spring. Find out how to control the moss on your lawn here.
Check your lawn for signs of diseases on a regular basis, especially if the lawn has been covered by snow for any period of time. Snow is the perfect incubator for diseases such as fusarium and snow mould, so if you spot any orange or brown patches on your lawn, call your local TruGreen expert immediately. Find out how to identify winter lawn diseases here.
A mild winter will allow lawn pests, such as chafer grubs and leatherjackets, to remain active for longer. If you notice a disturbance in the surface of your lawn, it is likely that you have a lawn pest active in the soil. Professional help will be required to get rid of these pests before they have chance to ruin your lawn.
Weeds can only be treated when they are in growth, so once they are suppressed by cold weather, all treatments will need to be held over until the spring. Your local lawn care expert will be able to advise when these treatments should be applied.
Treatment of worms
Remember that worms are the best form of natural drainage for your lawn! However, they can be a nuisance as they produce castings, which can make your lawn look rather muddy. These can be removed from sandy soils by lightly brushing them with a broom. You may consider the application of a worm suppressant on heavier soils. Find out more about treating worms here.
If frost is forecast, never apply a fertiliser to your lawn and try not to walk on the grass when it’s frozen as this can cause blackening of the leaf. Never mow the lawn immediately after a frost or during periods of heavy rain. Don’t try and grow grass seed during the winter as it will not germinate due to the low temperatures and reduced levels of photosynthesis.
Servicing your mower
Winter is the perfect time to service your lawn mower! Make sure that the blades are in good condition and are sharp prior to the spring as a blunt mower blade can significantly damage the quality of the grass plant, even when it’s managed correctly.