Winter usually feels like the time when lawn care takes a back seat. With luck it will not be necessary until the spring. It’s too late to feed and nothing will germinate once the temperatures start to drop.
But there are still ways to help your lawn make it through the winter and to make sure its as good as it can be in the spring.
Frost and snow can look fantastic but are not always great for lawn care. Try not to walk on your lawn during cold weather. If you are setting out lots of garden ornaments and Christmas decorations if you can keep them to the edges so much the better.
Leaves seem pretty innocuous but if left on a lawn they will kill the grass and leave bare patches come the spring. The remedy is relatively easy. It either involves some brisk raking or a few minutes with a leaf blower. The leaves will make leaf mould or compost and can be used elsewhere in the garden later in the new year. Putting them on bare soil will encourage insects and wildlife as well help to put nutrients back into the soil.
The real thing to avoid over the winter is walking on your lawn. As it will turn into a muddy mess. If the weather is wet – and it usually is in the UK in the winter – there is a good chance the ground will be waterlogged. Particularly if the soil is anything but sand. Heavy use, or even any use, can quickly break down the soil structure and the soil will become compacted making it hard for grass to survive, never mind thrive.
More rain means more moisture which in turn means a greater chance of moss. Moss loves the damp, shady conditions that pretty much define a British winter. There are moss control treatments on the market – and shade tolerant turf is always a good idea. Whilst maintaining your feed regime into the autumn will also help.
Walking on a frosty, frozen lawn will damage the lawn so please stay clear if you can. Snow itself won’t hurt the lawn so feel free to just leave it to thaw and all will be well.
So really your choice is simple. Will you continue with good lawncare over the festive period ? Will you try to give your garden a good start ahead of the spring? Or will you make the most of Christmas with all the garden decorations you can find? Of course, the decorations – but try to ensure you pay equal attention to your lawn over winter.
Why not compromise and decorate the edges of the lawn rather than standing decorations on the grass where they can damage the plants?
The other great opportunity the winter affords is to take the time to reflect and plan. What worked well this year? What have you still got left to do?
Next year, do you need to employ a lawn care professional who can scarify, aerate, feed, weed and trim while you get on with the things you enjoy?