7 Do’s & Dont’s of Winter Lawn Care
Singing voices at the ready everyone: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” And we’re not just talking about the festive season. We’re talking about every single second of winter — and that’s coming from people who work outside all year round. The festive foods and seasonal snacks, high-school sweethearts on ice skating dates and steaming mugs of hot cocoa, the log fires and carol singing — winter is full of good vibes, and that’s exactly what we need right now. Of course, there is another side of winter. Read on for our 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Lawn Care…
It’s painfully cold out there. Pipes get frozen. Lips, noses and cheeks get so chapped your paycheck goes toward lip salve. There’s black ice on the road, the term ‘Polar vortex’ gets used a lot. The cool snow hat you’re wearing leaves your hair looking weird the moment you step inside and, above all, your lawn needs extra attention.
Yup. This means you’re going to have to pull on some gloves and change up your routine a bit. But don’t worry too much because, well, it’s winter, so there’s not a whole lot to do. Just a bit here and there to keep your garden in check. And in that spirit, here are seven winter lawn care “chores” you can crack on with this December:
Won’t Stop, Don’t Stop Weeding
The things about weeds is, ummm, they’re so HARDCORE. They’re hardy and durable and have more bounceback ability than Manchester United (back when Sir Alex was in charge). Which means they’re probably going to survive the harshest of frosts. Thankfully, just like your lawn, any weeds out there are going to grow slowly due to the colder weather. This gives you a chance to keep on top of them. Simply pull out any bigger weeds you find. Then, when it’s dry and mild, get your mower out and cut your lawn on a high setting so that any seedlings don’t become an issue.
Don’t Fall For Any Fallen Leaves
A few leaves here and there are fine because they’ll nourish the soil and keep your roots warm during those colder days. But too many leaves and they’ll block out the sunlight and prevent any moisture from getting to your grass roots, which can cause long-term damage. That’s why our lawn care legends recommend you fetch your rake once or twice a week to stay on top of it until all the trees are bare.
Don’t Be Afraid To Mow Your Lawn This Winter
We know, we know: most people will tell you to stick your mower in the shed at the start of winter and then leave it there all season. But we don’t think you should be scared to mow your lawn if the conditions are right. So as long as your grass isn’t wet and the ground isn’t frosty. Just be sure wrap up warm and give your lawn a quick tidy up whenever it needs it. Remember to set the blade height higher than you did in the summer months to minimise any turf stress, and be gentle when you turn your mower as the ground may well be soft, which can hurt your lawn.
Show Your Tools Some TLC This Winter
It’s winter, right, which means your tools won’t be getting anywhere near as much use as they did in the warmer months. That’s why you need to give them a good old clean-up. Then make sure they’re bone dry before you put them away for the winter. You could even spray them with an anti-rust treatment to make sure they’re all sparkly and new-looking when you return to them in the spring.
Never Walk On A Frosty Lawn
To find out exactly why you shouldn’t walk on a frosty lawn, we recommend you read this extremely helpful guide. But for the short story on why this is particularly important: frost freezes the water inside the molecules, so when your grass is stepped on, that moisture bursts out of the cell walls putting your turf through so much extra stress it can cause lasting damage to your lawn.
Don’t Over Feed Your Lawn This Winter
Your grass will want and need a good feed before the cold weather really settles in. This will help it survive the winter and thrive come spring. It’s the sort of lawn care move that will toughen up your lawn and will strengthen the roots, as well as boost its nitrogen storage. However, if you continue to feed your turf throughout the winter you could encourage premature growth. And that will put it at risk of disease this winter instead.
No More Scarifying
Do you know what our favourite part of autumn is? Pumpkin-spiced lattes. But our second favourite thing is being able to scarify lawns up and down the country. Unfortunately, you can’t do this in the winter because the cold weather means grass growth is much slower, to the point where it might have stopped totally. As such, it won’t be able to recover from this kind of seasonal treatment. It’s best to wait until spring now and carry on with these lawn-saving treatments then.