With winter well and truly upon us, many homeowners may be asking themselves if the same lawn care routine they've been carrying out during the earlier parts of the year can be continued into the latter part of the year.
"Can I still mow the lawn in the winter? Does my lawn need extra fertiliser? How often do I water?" These are all common questions that you are likely to ask yourself as we head into winter. But, as like the previous seasons, winter brings with its own lawn care requirements that you'll need to follow in order to sustain the healthy lawn that you've created throughout the year.
In this article we focus on mowing, providing you with the expert advice and information that you'll need to ensure the health of your lawn is maintained throughout the whole of winter. So, let's get to it!
To answer the question, "can I mow the lawn in winter?" Yes, you can, but there are some very important guidelines that you should try your best to follow in order to avoid unnecessarily damaging your lawn and throwing away all of the hard work that you've put in place throughout the earlier parts of the year.
Winter Lawn Advice
Avoid cutting wet grass
The first piece of lawn care advice to follow during the winter is to avoid cutting your grass when it is wet. Light rain shouldn't cause many issues, however, after heavy rainfall, it is not advised to start looking for the lawnmower key. Mowing your lawn after long periods of wet weather can be more dangerous than you think and will not result is a good cut either. Running a mower over wet and mussy grass can, in fact, do more harm than food. Mower blades can begin to dig deeper into a soft lawn, resulting in new grass sprouts being killed. If your blades are too long or heavy with water they can begin to bend which results in an uneven cut - something you'd ideally like to avoid.
A good tip to follow is to walk on your lawn and if it begins to sink, it is too wet to cut!
Do not scalp your lawn when cutting
If you do decide to mow your lawn during the winter (given it hasn't rained too much), be sure to not scalp your grass. You can avoid this by raising your cutting blade a little higher than usual. Remember, do not cut more than one-third of the grass blades in one go. The role of leaves on a grass blade is to harvest energy from the sun in order to keep your lawn alive and healthy. By cutting too much of the grass, you will, in fact, be damaging your lawn by preventing it from storing energy. This a particularly problematic during the winter when the amount of time the sun is in the sky for is decreased.
Remove grass clippings
This point is linked to the previous one relating to the level of exposure your grass receives to the sun. In an ideal world, your lawn will receive the optimal amount of sunlight during the winter so it harnesses the energy that it needs to grow. Now, if after you've cut your grass at the required height you've left all of the clippings laying around, you will, in fact, be blocking the sunlight from reaching your grass' roots. This is something you'll definitely want to avoid during the winter, again given the shorter amount of time that the sun is in the sky.
Another thing to remember is that wet grass clippings provide ideal breeding conditions for lawn diseases such as fusarium patch! Another reason to remove all your clippings after mowing.
The final bit of advice to follow to avoid damaging your lawn during winter is related to frosted lawn. No doubt a crisp white layer of frost can make for pretty viewing, however, by walking across your lawn while it is in this state can again cause more harm than good. Once walked on, frozen grass doesn't spring back up, meaning footprints can remain on your lawn for a very long time.
By doing this not only will you leave footprints all over your lawn but you can potentially kill the grass blades by damaging the cells that are inside them. If this happens, the leaf will die off and turn brown, resulting in a very unhealthy and patchy looking lawn.
To summarise, yes you can mow your lawn in the winter but you need to ensure that the conditions are suitable, if not, you risk causing more harm than good. By following the above advice, you will make great strides to maintaining the healthy lawn you've worked all year to achieve.
More Lawn Mowing Tips
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