Looking after your lawn in winter

Winter is the season when the garden is most comfortably admired from inside a snug, warm house! And fortunately winter is the time when you can ease off your lawn care and just keep an eye on things. Whatever the weather brings, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But there are still a few jobs which will help your lawn to survive the coldest part of the year and be ready for its exuberant springtime launch.Turf field in winter

Does my lawn need mowing in winter?

Yes, your lawn will need some mowing, but far less than in the summer. You can probably get by with as little as one cut a month, and it won’t be a big cut either (remembering to stick to the golden rule – never cut more than one third). But if you don’t cut at all in the winter, you face a tough start to your springtime mowing. Just be sure that your blades are really sharp to avoid tearing and stressing the grass leaves.

Is winter a good time to aerate my lawn?

Winter is a really good time for aerating the lawn! The process (digging narrow channels into the earth to get air into the compacted soil) can be messy, leaving lots of tiny plugs of soil on the lawn’s surface; but aerating in the winter should avoid the risk of the soil beneath the grass drying out. It also helps with drainage. Find out more in the book Modern Lawn Care it has a really helpful chapter all about aeration.

Does my lawn need feeding in winter?

Your lawn needs at least four seasonal feeds a year – and yes, winter is one of them. However, be sure to select the right feed; a good winter feed will be low in nitrogen as top growth is not important, but higher in potassium and phosphate to give valuable support to the root systems and boost disease resistance. Our Rejuvenator Autumn/Winter Feed is ideal.

Can I do lawn repairs in winter?

With the lawn no longer in regular use, this is a convenient time of the year to do some repairs. You may have little patches of thin grass, perhaps in a shady spot or at a place of extreme wear. For very small areas, seeding is probably the best option but otherwise consider laying some new turf. By the following spring it should have bedded in well.

And what about bumps and dips? Now, while the grass is least active, is a good time to open up the turf and do a little ‘soil surgery’ to level it out.

How do I protect the lawn from winter weather?

Winter can be full of surprises bringing everything from flooding to long-lasting frost. Your lawn is surprisingly resilient to all of this, especially if you have looked after it well during the previous twelve months.

The book Modern Lawn Care explains how to devise a really simple but effective year-round care programme). Whatever the weather, just avoid adding further stress to the lawn (for example, try not to walk on grass when there is a frost, and don’t cut the grass too short). If you leave your garden furniture outside, move it around from time to time and keep the lawn clear of any falling branches and twigs.