For most home owners they think that lawn care stops as soon as the cold and wet weather of winter begins because grass growth drops significantly. This could not be more wrong and you’ll be giving yourself a whole load of extra work to do the following spring that could’ve been easily avoided if you think this way. To keep your lawn in shape and to prevent it from causing you any headaches the next year, follow these tips for proper winter lawn maintenance.
Frost & Snow
This is one of the most important things you can do during winter, if the lawn is covered with frost then stay off it! If you don’t you’ll be left with big foot prints on your grass in spring.
If snow does fall (hopefully on Christmas!) don’t brush the snow from your paths and steps onto the grass, this will just transfer diseases onto the lawn like Fusarium Patch and Snow Mould (for advice on how to deal with them both just click on their corresponding links). But even without doing this there’s still quite a high possibility of finding these diseases on your lawn after the snow melts, although in most cases your grass will be fine so don’t worry about removing the snow.
The only time where you will need to remove snow is when your kids make snowmen. They take much longer to melt because of their volume and could leave marks on your lawn afterwards. So once your kids are done playing with them make sure you spread them out across the lawn.
Another thing I should mention about the weather is that when you notice big puddles or water gathering in certain areas of your lawn, take some notes. This is a sign that your soil is compacted so you’ll need to make sure you aerate it the next spring.
If the sun does pop out within the clouds and the temperatures reach at least 5°C then you’ll need to get your mower out. The grass won’t grow much so make sure you cut off anywhere between 10-25% of grass height to stimulate some sort of growth.
Also you might want to trim the edges around your lawn and pathways during warmer days just to take full advantage of the good weather.
If you begin to see moss growing around you lawn then make sure there’s at least 1/2″ of grass growing above the moss after mowing.
If you want to provide more colour to your lawn then you should apply a fertiliser that’s contains a low level of nitrogen with good amount of potassium and iron. If you also want to strength the grass and improve its winter hardiness then try applying a Soluble Iron (Ferrous Sulphate). Just make sure that whatever you apply is designed for winter (if it’s meant for spring then you’ll be applying way too much nitrogen and just see excessive growth) and that you don’t apply it during frost.
Moss & Weed Control
Not only does Soluble Iron (Ferrous Sulphate) help your lawn fight against the winter conditions but it also helps reduce the amount of moss found in-between your grass. The only thing is you can do anything vigorous to remove the moss as you’ll be left a disfigured lawn afterwards, so applying the fertiliser at about 4-5g per square metre of lawn once or twice over winter should be enough. It won’t remove everything but it’ll make the job in spring much much easier.
As for weeds, you’re better leaving them alone. Removing them is too stressful the lawn to handle right now.
As I said it’s possible for your lawn to suffer from snow mould or fusarium patch after snowfall, this is usually a sign of an unhealthy lawn, high thatch levels, poor air circulation or just because of the consistent rainfall. Which ever one it is you need to find out how it’s being caused and resolve it otherwise the problem won’t stop reoccurring.
Remember even though worms improve the nutrient content within the soil and improve its structure, their casts should be remove. The easiest way to do so is let them dry out and brush them away.
Because there is little chance of natural grass plant recovery during this time of year, do not be tempted to scarify or aerate your lawn. It’ll cause more damage then good so leave them both for next spring.
So that they don’t smother your grass, always remove leaves that have fallen from tress onto the lawn.
If you found this post interesting then maybe you’d like to see some of my other content, like my robomower reviews? If so then head over to my Robot Lawn Mower Review Page, I’ve reviewed various models all designed for different purposes so if you’re in the market there won’t be a better place to go than here!