The frosty winter months are a well-deserved break for all gardeners. The cold and chilly season is a perfect time to rest from constant lawn care and maintenance. But, let’s not forget that preparing for this “vacation”, also requires some effort. As your garden’s appearance in spring will be the consequence of this preparation. Therefore, to get the best of it, follow our winter lawn care tips and your garden will look stunning, all year round.

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So if you are:

  • owner of a property with a lawn;
  • beginner gardener;
  • recently moved to a climate with heavier winter.

Keep on reading, because the following tips will help you maintain your lawn during this harsh season.

Remove moss and weeds to prevent them from spreading

Start with the moss. It thrives in shady places and can be spotted under trees and hedges. Begin treatment by applying a moss killer all over your lawn. A few weeks later, this so unwanted weed will have turned a black colour. This is a clear sign that it’s dead. Thoroughly cut back all branches and low-growing hedges that cause shade. Remove the already dead moss with the help of a lawn rake. This method will also help remove all the old grass cuttings and remains. All of this will also have a beneficial effect on the drainage process. 

When preparing the lawn for winter, a key point is the elimination of all hardy weeds and unwanted greenery. Removal prevents them from spreading across the garden and lessens your work when the spring comes.

Rake the leaves to avoid insects and pests

As everyone knows, the arrival of autumn gives start to the daily leaves raking game. Whenever you get a chance, clear any fallen leaves off the lawn as thoroughly as possible. During the whole season, don’t let the leaves stay for a long time in your yard. Otherwise, they will hinder the sunlight from reaching the grass, which will, in turn, lead to yellowing.

Decaying leaves also provide a perfect environment for uninvited garden pests and diseases as they smother the grass. Leaf raking is an essential step of the winter lawn treatment process. After all, you don’t want to deal with mice, insects, and other harmful pests now, do you? Also, do not leave heavy objects and furniture on the lawn when frosted. The weight of these objects can damage the grass or slow down its growth.

Mow the lawn to prevent freezing

Many people don’t know they have to reduce their grass’s height in winter. We often receive calls from our clients, asking us “Can you cut my grass in winter?” or “When is the last grass cut before winter?”. There is no such thing like a “last grass cut”.  Although not as often as in the summer, but your lawn needs to be mowed, even during the cold months. When winter alternates between hot and cold days, the grass continues to grow. In consequence, with the arrival of colder days, the grass will suffer due to constant freezing and thawing.

With the onset of cold days, gradually lower the height of your mower with each grass cut. Make sure the blades are sharp enough to avoid ripping and stressing the grass. However, don’t cut the grass too short as it can be affected by extreme temperatures. Remember, the grass should be no shorter and no longer than 5 centimetres during the winter. Also, don’t forget the golden rule – never cut more than one-third.

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Aerate for better drainage and oxygen levels

Some people have a hard time accepting the idea of lawn aeration. Yes, it can be messy and ugly to watch your lawn with all those tiny cuts on it, but it’s worth it. Winter is the perfect season for this process, as it helps avoid the chance of the soil below the lawn drying out. Hollow tine aerators are ideal for this occasion, as they remove a plug of soil with each snatch. 

If you do not own such a tool, don’t worry, a simple garden fork will also do the trick. Aerating the lawn in winter boosts drainage and provides roots with some oxygen. If puddles of water appear on your lawn every time after a heavy rain, that means it’s time for aeration. The reason that flooding is happening is that the soil beneath the grass is very compact and cannot absorb the water. 

Related: How to Repair Bare Patches on Your Lawn

Fertilize for root strength and lush grass

To complete the whole process and to keep the grass green in winter, you should finish up by applying some lawn fertilizer. Feeding your grass before the cold starts is very beneficial for the lawn. The winter lawn feed will help to strengthen the roots, thanks to the potassium and phosphate, contained in it. It will contribute to a perfectly green and dense lawn, with the arrival of spring. If you need lawn mowing or feeding, you can always count on our professional lawn care services.

Don’t give in to the temptation of applying a spring fertilizer, which contains large amounts of nitrogen. The nitrogen encourages the growth of soft and vulnerable to disease grass that will not survive the frost.

Winters can often be harsh, unpredictable and can put your lawn to the test in extreme, unfavourable conditions. However, if you are well-prepared and do your best, there is nothing to fear. So, enjoy your winter and the so deserved break from gardening chores that come with it. 

Takeaways:

  • Never mow your lawn right after frost or heavy rain.
  • Do not leave heavy objects and furniture on the lawn when frosted, as they can damage the grass.
  • Start winter preparation in October or November.

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Do you have any tips you wish to share? Please, share your experience in the comments below, the best could be added to the article. 🙂

Image source: Shutterstock / Masarik

  • Last update: October 18, 2019

Posted in All About the Lawn, Garden Advice

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