Winter Lawn Care: The Dos and Don’ts

The heating is on, the jumpers are out, the logs are all split and ready for the fire; it’s definitely winter.

Whether you like it or not you’re going to have to change up your routine a bit. Generally this is a great time of year for anyone who finds gardening a bit of a drag, because there’s not a whole lot to do (and it’s more than a little chilly, too). If you want to keep your garden in check though, there are some winter lawn care jobs you can still carry out even on the coldest days; some are even best saved for this time of year.

Keep on top of weeds
These hardy things are likely to survive the harshest of frosts, but just like your lawn, their growth is likely to have been slowed by the colder weather. Dig out any larger weeds, and when it’s dry, mow your grass on a high blade setting to prevent seedlings becoming a problem.

Rake when you can to remove any leaves or debris
These block out light and prevent moisture getting to your grass. Ideally you should try to do this around once or twice a week to stay on top of it.

On milder days, don’t be afraid to use the lawnmower
As long as the grass and the ground aren’t wet or frosty, give your lawn a tidy up when it needs it, as this will transform the appeal of your outside space. Set the cutting height higher than you would have used in the summer months as this will minimise turf stress. The ground is likely to be more soft, so don’t turn your mower too quickly or you could damage your lawn.

Take care of all your gardening equipment
Give all you tools a thorough clean and make sure they’re dry before you put them away. Spray them with an anti rust treatment to help them last longer.

Avoid walking on the lawn as much as possible
This is particularly important if it’s wet or frosty. The weather is putting the turf through a lot at the moment and stepping on it can cause lasting damage to the grass.

Make sure you don’t over feed the lawn
Giving your grass a final feed in October just before the cold really kicks in is fine, and could even be helpful. It will toughen it up for the winter months, and will strengthen the roots as well as aid nitrogen storage. If you continue using the feed you could encourage premature growth, which won’t survive the colder weather.

Stop scarifying
While autumn is a great time to carry out lawn treatments, winter isn’t. The cold weather means grass growth is much slower or it might have stopped all together, so it won’t be able to recover from treatments. Another issue is that the ground will be much colder and harder so you’ll struggle to use tools. It’s best to wait to spring now to carry on with treatments.