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:

  • Are an owner of a property with a lawn;
  • Are a beginner gardener;
  • Want to know how to prepare your lawn for 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

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 makes your work easier when the spring comes. 

  • Start with removing lawn 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 helps to remove all the old grass cuttings and remains. It will also have a beneficial effect on the drainage process. 

Rake the leaves to avoid insects and pests

As everyone knows, the arrival of autumn gives a start to the daily leaves raking game. Leaf raking is an essential step of the winter lawn treatment process.

Clear any fallen leaves off the lawn as thoroughly as possible, whenever you have the chance. During the whole season, don’t let the leaves stay for a long time in your yard. After all, you don’t want to deal with mice, insects, and other harmful pests now, do you?

Worms

Decaying leaves provide a perfect environment for worms and diseases as they smother the grass. However, if you notice worms, don’t rush to remove them. Usually, they are not harmful, as they improve the soil structure by nourishing it. The problem appears when there are too many worm casts. Due to their slimy consistency, the casts can create a muddy and slippery surface that is hard to mow. When treating your lawn, it’s better to let the worm casts dry and remove them with the stiff brush.

Moles

There is a common misconception that moles hibernate during the winter season. Usually, they stay deeper in the ground because the frozen soil is hard to dig. If the soil is soft, these little creatures can excavate the ground searching for insects and earthworms. With that being said, mole activity can increase in January or February. If you see volcano-shaped mounds on your lawn, you can be sure that you have a mole in your garden. 

The only damage that moles bring to your lawn is aesthetic. Just be prepared to remove the mounds and overseed in spring

Related: What Is Digging Holes in Your Garden at Night

Mow the lawn to prevent freezing

Many people don’t know they have to mow their grass in winter. We often receive calls from our clients, asking “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, your lawn still 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; 
  • Don’t cut the grass too short as it can be affected by extreme temperatures;
  • The grass should be no shorter and no longer than 5 centimetres during the winter; 
  • Don’t forget the golden rule – never cut more than one-third.

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.

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.

Hollow tine aerators are ideal for this occasion, as they remove a plug of soil with each snatch. It should be noted that this tool can be used only if a good recovery of the lawn can be achieved. Plan the hollow tining when the forecasts don’t promise dramatic temperature drops, otherwise, you risk damaging your lawn. If you do not own such a tool, don’t worry, a simple garden fork will also do the trick.

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 fertiliser. 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 fertiliser, 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. 

Want to start your winter gardening break earlier?

Why not let someone else prepare your lawn for the winter? No matter the season, Fantastic Services specialists know when and how to take care of your lawn! Don’t waste any more of your precious time on tedious work, book your lawn care service now!

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Takeaways

  • To save yourself a lot of work in spring, remove the moss in winter;
  • Fallen leaves create a perfect environment for pests;
  • You shouldn’t cut your grass shorter than 5 cm in winter;
  • Never mow your lawn right after frost or heavy rain;
  • Do NOT aerate your lawn if the weather forecasts are not promising, as you risk damaging it; 
  • Do NOT leave heavy objects and furniture on the lawn when frosted, as they can damage the grass;
  • Choose a fertiliser with a low amount of nitrogen; 
  • 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 12, 2020

Posted in All About the Lawn, Garden Advice

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