You've spent all summer getting your lawn in tip-top shape. Your grass has finally taken on that lush green colour you've been working so hard for, you've mowed the perfect stripes, and the length is just right. Time to relax, right?
But then the weather turns wet and gloomy, and autumn settles in. Dead leaves have started to take over your garden, and those summer barbecues feel like years ago.
Unfortunately, there's a lot of work for lawn-conscious homeowners to do at this time of year. You still need to care for your lawn in order to prepare it for the colder winter months and help it to bounce back when spring returns!
Winter lawn care is just as important as spring and summer, and needs to be taken seriously if you want your turf to look its best all year round. With that in mind, here are some expert tips to help you prepare your lawn for winter...
7 Steps to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter
1. Don’t leave it too late
If you want your lawn to remain healthy throughout the winter months, it’s important to not leave your lawn care treatments too late. You should ideally start preparing your lawn for winter in October-November. When it comes to winter lawn care, it’s best to be proactive and make sure your winter lawn preparations have plenty of time to take effect.
2. Knowing when to mow
Knowing when to mow your lawn in preparation for the winter is just as important as knowing when to mow during the spring and summer. Throughout autumn, you should aim to mow your lawn every 10 to 14 days until all of the leaves are off the trees. This ensures that the fallen leaves will not smother your lawn and keeps it at the healthy length you've managed to achieve.
Be sure to to check out the recommended length for your grass type; a general rule of thumb to prepare your lawn for the winter is 1.5 inches for warmer climates and 0.75 inches for cooler climates. Keeping your grass at these recommended heights for the winter is crucial as it allows your lawn to protect itself and helps decrease fungus growth if it does begin to snow.
3. Add some fertiliser
To help make sure your lawn will be lush and green for the next season, be sure to add natural fertiliser to it. If you forgot to add this at the end of the summer months, be sure to add it before the winter arrives. We recommend using a good organic fertiliser with 0% phosphates.
4. Decrease or prevent irrigation
The weather becomes a lot colder and wetter during autumn/winter, so you probably won't need to water your lawn until next spring. In particular, you should not water your lawn during cold spells as the water may freeze and cause more harm than good.
5. Deter mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are one of the most forgotten-about factors when it comes to winter lawn preparation. They tend to breed around stagnant water when the temperatures drop to around 10 degrees Celsius, so just before the winter kicks in, be sure to take a walk around your garden and look out for areas where water may sit still (such as plant pots, flower beds and bird baths).
This will save a heap of trouble when the weather begins to turn warmer again as you won't have to worry about being bitten by the mosquitoes you helped to breed.
6. Maintain your compost
Autumn is the perfect time to build up your compost pile in preparation for spring. Whilst you are cleaning up your garden in preparation for winter, why not add some of the brown stuff that your compost needs? You can do this by collecting the leaves that have fallen and adding them to your pile. These will help prevent the pile from getting too wet and add a small amount of insulation. For even more protection, be sure to add some chop-up from your lawnmower also.
7. During the winter
If it begins to snow during the winter, ensure you leave it on your lawn. Too many people plough on their grass, which is a big mistake - the snow acts as a type of insulation from the bitter, crisp winter air. Ploughing the snow on your lawn will cause those patches of grass to not grow as well, which will lead to a patchy-looking lawn come the springtime.
Looking after your lawn during the winter is essential to having a healthy lawn for the rest of the year. By following these tips, you can keep your grass is in the best condition possible through the colder months.
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