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Last updated on January 21st, 2020
Winter is typically a more relaxed part of the year in terms of plant and lawn care, there are still some things you can do to make sure that your lawn not only stays at its healthiest throughout the winter but is as prepared as possible for the upcoming seasons.
In October this is the last time you can aerate and scarify the lawn before spring. If there is still time get this done before November to remove as much thatch and moss as possible if this is a problem as well as aerate the lawn to improve drainage.
Top tips for caring for your lawn over winter
Give the lawn time to rest
Avoid walking on lawns
Give your lawn a rest. Try to keep off of it in the winter as much as possible, especially when conditions are wet or frosty. The grass is not as able to repair itself when it is damaged in wet or frosty conditions.
If it’s necessary to walk across the lawn, or you notice that your lawn is suffering from where you need to walk on it, consider putting in pavers down as a more permanent pathway across the lawn. This can give you a path to take regularly so that you avoid any unnecessary lawn damage.
Avoid mowing the lawn over winter
Avoid mowing unless it is absolutely necessary. Conditions need to be good for mowing, especially in the wintertime. Certain temperatures will prevent your grass from growing. Temperature is below 5 degrees Celsius, for example, will stop the grass from growing and at that point, there is no need to mow it. However, when temperatures get above 5 the grass will start growing again and you can mow if you really want to so long as the weather is suitable. If the ground is incredibly wet or a heavy frost is expected in the upcoming days, avoid mowing until later. As a general rule, you want to cut the grass less during the winter allowing it to be at least 25% taller than it was during the summer. In general, we advise cutting your lawn a final time near the end of October and then leave it until spring as it doesn’t usually grow enough to warranty mowing and it can cause more harm than good
Keep the lawn clear from fallen leaves and other debris
You also want to keep it clean. Use a brush, light leaf rake or leaf blower vacuum to remove any leaves or debris. If you have a lawn beneath any nearby trees, those trees will drop leaves on top of the lawn and if you leave those leaves in place throughout the winter they will trap moisture and quickly become an environment conducive to worm activity and disease which will prevent your lawn from returning to its former glory come spring. Some lawnmowers even have specially designed blade for collect leaves from lawns which are worth using is your lawn is not to wet.
Add leaves to your compost heap or consider making leaf mould from them.
Brush off worm casts
You want to be able to control the worms that are in the soil as they can improve the nutrient content of the soil. But when you find worm casts, let them dry and then sweep them off the lawn.
Aerate your lawn with a fork or lawn aerator to improve drainage
If you see moss growing or waterlogging on your lawn it is likely because of poor drainage. You can help improve this by aerating the lawn and looking for key areas where you might dig trenches in spring and adding extra drainage to help divert water away the following winters.
You can help aerate the lawn with a garden fork to improve drainage, allow better airflow into the root system itself, and we’re levitating compaction that likely took place throughout the year prior. When you aerate your lawn in the winter, take your garden fork and dig it into the ground approximately 5cm to 10cm deep, and then move it back and forth to loosen up the soil. Repeat this process every 10cm. In the end, you will have a significantly healthier lawn. You can also consider investing in a lawn aerator to help make the job easier.
Moles usually start to become more active in January and February and can cause a lot of damage to lawns. Brush mole holes and consider setting traps.
Overall, following these steps will help you to give your lawn the winter treatment it needs to remain healthy and vibrant and come back the following spring.
Learn more about caring for your lawn in spring using our guide by clicking here
Image credits – Shutterstock.com