Help in Understanding When Exactly Does Your Lawn’s Grass Stop Growing
- Published: Jun 20/2018
- Last update: May 19/2023
- 6min read
- Views: 16,819
You’re wondering when and at what temperature the grass on your lawn goes into a dormant state. Maybe, it’s because you’re yearning to put your lawn mower away after the busy summer gardening season. Or it’s for the opposite reason, you find mowing therapeutic and keep asking yourself if it is still OK to cut your grass in the winter.
Then, read on because this post will explain what happens to your green plot during the colder months. You’ll learn if grass continues to grow in the winter period and get an insight on how best to take care of your lawn, in order to boost its revival in the spring.
Grass growth rate depends on more than one factor. One needs to consider their grass variety, the air and soil temperature and the type of climate they live in. You can expect that your grass will stop growing when the following condition is met:
When the air and soil temperature is below 5°C (41°F). On average, this happens towards the middle of November in the UK. Cold weather will stall grass growth, even if the other necessary conditions are present. Grass tiller and leaf production are affected by four elements. To grow, grass requires optimal heat, plenty of light, sufficient water and the right quantity of nitrogen, with the temperature being the most influential component out of the four.
When talking about the UK and what month of the year you’ll most likely give your mowing equipment a rest – the last grass cutting day will probably vary. For folks who reside in the West country’s mild winter conditions, the period between December and February will be the quiet time for lawn trimming. And for those who live somewhere up North, October – March will be the time to forget about the cutting chore.
Let’s clear that one, too, as you will hear different opinions.
On one hand, grass never ceases to grow but it merely slows down. During winter, new grass leaves will still appear but at a very slow rate – about every 35-40 days (unless we have freezing cold conditions outside).
On the other hand, what type of grass you have also determined whether it will eventually stop growing. Perennial grasses are likely to become dormant or slow down, whereas annual ryegrass and annual meadow varieties will naturally die.
Whether your grass grows in the winter will depend on:
So, if we focus on the first factor, UK-popular perennial grass varieties, such as common bentgrass, red fescue and dwarf perennial ryegrass will go dormant, once the temperatures plummet later in the year. Still, healthy grass will probably continue to be somewhat active in winter. We may see a definite slowdown on the surface, where grass growth is easing up. But grass puts all its energy where it matters – into its root system. Root growth is important for your grass to prepare well for the coming winter.
And when it comes to the growth cycle of fast establishing annual grass types, the change of colour of the grass leaves at the end of autumn and their zero growth will mean only one thing – the grass is dying rather going to sleep. So, you’ll be looking at reseeding your lawn in the early spring.
The second factor is often ruled by what area you live in and by the specific weather conditions in that particular winter season. So, the question here will be not so much whether the grass will keep growing in general in the winter months but whether your lawn mower will be much of use to you during this period. Depending on where you are and what the “cold” weather is going to be like that year, here is a list of what may stop you from trimming your turf once the winter sets in:
Well, you may not need your mower that often but you shouldn’t ignore your lawn needs in the winter. If you want it to thrive during the spring and summer months, you have to do your homework.
Your 5 most important winter lawn care tips:
Extra tips: Get your lawn mower fully serviced or use a professional mowing team, so it doesn’t fail you when you most need it. Don’t ever walk on a frosty lawn because the brittle grass leaves will easily snap and may fail to fully recover.
Please, do tell us about your experience with winter mowing in the comments below.
Image source: Shutterstock/ By Georgii Shipin