Many people, even those who consider themselves to be clued up on the do’s and don’ts of gardening, assume that winter is a time to ditch the gardening and head inside, and in some respect this is true. However, if you want to ensure your lawn remains healthy and happy throughout the winter, there are a few simply things that should be done.
In this winter lawn care guide, you’ll find some of the most effective ways to look after your lawn during the colder months.
Taking the time to care for your lawn throughout the winter doesn’t take a lot of time or energy, but it goes a long way towards keeping the lawn in great shape for spring. (source)
Though you probably won’t be spending much time outside during the winter, try to stay off the lawn as much as possible when it’s wet or frosty. The lawn won’t be growing a lot during the winter and therefore any damage caused by walking cannot be repaired.
Avoid mowing the lawn in winter as much as possible and only mow the lawn if it’s necessary. A lawn will not grow much during the winter and therefore most people will find there’s no need to cut it. However, if temperatures do spike and weather conditions are good, a small amount of mowing may be required.
During the winter a lot of leaves and branches fall from trees, many of which will end up on your lawn; this is only increased when it’s windy, as debris can be blown in from elsewhere. It’s important to remove any leaves and debris from the lawn as frequently as possible, to reduce the chances of damage. If you have a large lawn, you may find a leaf blower or lawn vacuum useful.
As your lawnmower and strimmer won’t be used often during the winter, it’s the ideal time to give them the once over. Check to ensure all blades are sharp and that nothing needs repairing, as well as replacing any parts. Doing so will leave you with a lawnmower and strimmer that are in tiptop condition for when spring rolls around.
Aerating the lawn refers to process of allowing air into the lawn; this is done using a pitchfork or any other spiking tool. By allowing air into the lawn, compaction is reduced and drainage is improved. This leads to a healthier lawn overall.
You are probably used to watering your lawn a lot during the summer, especially as the warmer temperatures can dry it out. However, the amount you water the lawn should be drastically decreased during the winter. Not only will the extra rain keep the grass hydrated, but the colder temperatures tend to bring dew.
If you do notice that your lawn could do with cutting during the winter, it’s best to raise your cutting height slightly; this will reduce the risk of damaging the lawn. Low lawnmower cutting heights can result in scalping and brown patches of lawn.
A lot of people assume that applying grass fertilizer is a task best suited to spring and summer, but that’s not always the case. Though not all lawns will require fertilizer, some could do with the help. Applying a fertilizer helps the lawn to stay healthy and looking its best throughout the winter months.
Though a lawn is very resilient in general, certain extreme weather conditions can cause damage in the long run. The best way to avoid this is to keep an eye on the weather and remove any large patches of ice that occur. Similarly, if snow builds up in low areas of the lawn and doesn’t melt naturally over time, it is beneficial to remove it manually.
Though weeds and plants tend to grow a lot slower in the colder temperatures, they can still appear. As well as looking unsightly and causing the garden to look overgrown and unkempt, weeds can cause damage to other plants. Remove weeds periodically throughout the winter and cut back any plants that are overgrowing. There are a lot of different weed killers available and many do not cause harm to the lawn.
When it comes to caring for your lawn this winter, a little goes a long way. By removing debris, keeping time spent on the lawn to a minimum and aerating you’ll find yourself left with a healthy, happy and great looking lawn despite the cold and the rain. After all, there’s no need to have your lawn looking worse for wear just because it’s winter.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.
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