It’s cold outside, and wet, and miserable. I don’t feel like gardening and I don’t suppose you do too. But there are some essential lawn care jobs that really must be done in winter time, one of which is applying winter lawn feed.
Why give your lawn any winter lawn feed?
Could you survive outside all winter without proper food? No? Neither could I, so should we really expect plants to do so?
Perennial plants like grass don’t hibernate in winter. They take measures to limit the damage that cold weather could do. Some lose their leaves, some stop growing new leaves/fruit/flowers but all of them are awake in their own way.
Grass keeps existing leaves but doesn’t grow any more of them until spring comes. The cells within the leaves are still respiring (that’s the plant equivalent to breathing) and to do that they need energy. Each cell also needs to protect itself against frost damage by keeping the correct balance of proteins and minerals inside it.
Where do those proteins and minerals come from? They’re collected from the soil by the plants’ roots. If the roots are unable to reach the right nutrients, the whole plant will suffer. Like us, being poorly nourished can leave grass vulnerable to pests and diseases. That’s why it’s important to ensure the soil beneath your lawn contains everything the grass will need to keep itself strong and healthy all winter.
What to feed your lawn in winter
The two most important elements for winter lawn feed are Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). These are essential for root growth, frost hardiness and for preparing the plant for a growth spurt in the spring.
What NOT to feed your lawn in winter
Whatever you do, don’t give your lawn a lot of nitrogen (N) between the months of September and February. Nitrogen encourages lush growth. Lush growth needs lots of sunshine to give the plants energy. Without it, the leaves become straggly, long, pale, weak and sickly. Then they’re vulnerable to attack from lawn diseases like fusarium.
Buying the right type of lawn feed
If you’re reading this and thinking “I could put the last of that summer fertiliser on the lawn this week, that’ll see it through the winter…..” STOP! Don’t do it.
From September – February ALWAYS USE SPECIALLY FORMULATED AUTUMN-WINTER LAWN FEED.
At Turfonline we recommend Nutrifusion Lawn Feeds. They’re specially made to support soil microbes (good bacteria) as well as provide the right balance of nutrients for your grass.
Apply in September and then again in November if the weather is still mild. Remember – just because the air feels cold, it doesn’t mean that the soil isn’t warm enough for roots, worms and microbes to be active.