Winter Lawn Care
Between December and late February there is not a great deal of work to do with your lawn as growth will have almost stopped completely and frosts will be frequent. Stay off your lawn when the grass is frozen as this will cause the leaves to fracture leaving foot prints in the lawn that can stay for some time. Freezing conditions can also cause the ground to heave up in places. If this happens you can give the lawn a light rolling in the spring when it is dry.
Winter lawn care to do list:
- Clearing leaves and large piles of snow off the lawn
- Occasional Light Mowing (if there is growth and weather conditions allow)
- Application of Winter Fertiliser
- Moss Treatments
- Watch for Water Logging
- Look after Newly Turfed Lawns
If conditions are dry and there is some growth, consider giving your lawn a light topping with the mower but keep the cut on the high side. Otherwise leave until next year and carry out any mower maintenance in preparation for Spring.
Clearing Leaves and Snow
Clear any leaves with a leaf blower/vacuum or a lawn rake. If conditions are dry you could suck any leaves up with the lawn mower. Leaves left on the grass can smother the grass, allow moss to take over, promote disease, attract more worms which can then attract moles. Leaf clearing should be carried out regularly throughout Autumn and the last few fallen leaves cleared in December. If there is snow, try to avoid piling it high on the grass when clearing paths etc, as this increases the risk of Snow Mould.
A Winter Fertiliser with low to no Nitrogen and good amounts of Potassium and Iron is a good idea between now and Spring. This will strengthen the grass to help it withstand stresses such as cold weather and disease.
If you have already fertilised your lawn recently or you have a moss problem you could apply a medium to heavy dose of Ferrous Sulphate. This will green up your lawn, harden the turf and blacken moss at higher doses. This could be applied 2 to 3 times between now and spring if you have a bad moss infestation and could be followed up with scarification and over seeding in early spring if there is sufficient moisture available.
Watch for puddling in your lawn. If there are patches where water settles on your lawn, your soil may be compacted or has poor drainage (possibly heavy clay soil). This may be an indicator to Aerate your lawn in the Spring.
Diseases common in winter
Fusarium or Snow Mould could be present through the winter period. This could be an indicator of poor turf health, excessive thatch, compaction or exceptionally wet weather. This is also caused by prolonged snow cover. Signs of Fusarium are small yelllow patches that can turn brown later. A white/pinkish fungal growth can appear particularly around the edges of the patches. If you do experience an attack it will usually have little consequence in a domestic lawn. Watch for any possible causes like compaction or thatch and consider aeration or scarification next year. Adding leaf and snow clearing to your winter lawn care practices will reduce the risk of fusarium.
If you want to create a new lawn then winter time is perfect for laying turf, however, seeding a lawn should wait until early spring when temperatures increase. Laying Turf in winter is ideal due to the fact that the grass will not need cutting until spring allowing you to stay off the lawn and let it bed in. It is important to find a day when it is fairly dry and consider bringing in some dry, good quality topsoil to aid the process of getting a smooth finish when leveling the ground. Avoid trying to lay turf when there is heavy frosts
If you would like more information on winter lawn care or anything else I will be happy to assist. If you would like a free quote to have the work carried out professionally please contact me.
Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great Christmas and New Year.