Johnsons, our favourite lawn seed supplier has some winter lawn care tips that we thought sharing with you would be useful.
If you have your sights set on a lush, green, weed-free lawn this spring and summer, there are a few things you can do over the colder months to keep it in in top shape. Lawncare during the winter comes down to very simple maintenance but, more important than anything, is ensuring you give the grass as much of a rest as possible. Follow lawn care expert, John Lawn Seeds’ top tips to keep your grass healthy and strong this winter.
Rest the lawn
If practical, keep off the lawn when it is wet or frosty. Grass will easily sustain damage during these conditions and will not be able to repair itself until the spring. This also means removing any garden furniture or outdoor toys sitting on the lawn. The weight of these objects over the course of the winter can kill or seriously stunt the growth of your grass. Keep pathways and sidewalks clear of snow and ice to discourage people from taking a shortcut across your lawn but don’t shovel or plough snow that is full of salt onto your grass and, if possible, try to use minimal salt near the lawn altogether. If you do need to use salt, opt for calcium chloride-based mixtures, which are less harmful than sodium chloride-based ones.
And, lastly, if you do get a heavy snowfall, build your snowman on a patio or hard ground, rather than the lawn. Snowmen take a long time to melt and disappear, which can also lead to disease in the grass underneath.
Clear up leaves and debris
This is potentially the most important job of all to help keep your lawn healthy. Clear up any leaves or debris, such as fallen branches, as often as you can. Fallen leaves trap moisture on the surface of the grass, which can lead to fungal infections. It can also cause a spike in worm activity, as they come to the surface to feed on the rotting organic matter and leave their worm casts behind. These casts are packed full of nutrients for your lawn, so the best action to take is wait until they are dry and then gently brush them back into the lawn with a garden brush.
Keep weeds and moss under control
Remove large weeds, as and when you spot them, to help reduce their spread across the lawn. Winter is a good time to attack any moss as well. If grass does sustain any damage during frosty or wet weather and is unable to repair itself in the cold, it can be left susceptible to diseases like Fusarium Patch and Snow Mould. Apply a moss killer at the same time as giving the lawn its winter feed.
Some people frown on cutting grass during winter. However, if there are any warm spells, your lawn will continue to grow – albeit at a much slower pace. You may find you need to trim the grass, as a result, but try and keep this to a bare minimum and be sure not to cut more than one third of the length. When planning your garden trim, look at the weather forecast and don’t mow the lawn when the grass is wet, frosty or when frost is expected. The winter is the perfect time to get your mower serviced to beat the rush in spring and also means you can get the blades sharpened, which is very important if you do need to cut the grass during the colder months. Dull mower blades will tear grass instead of cutting cleanly.
After heavy rainfall, you may notice puddles of water appearing on your lawn. This is a sign that the soil underneath the grass is compacted and in need of aeration. You can do this easily with a fork or spiking machine. This simple action will relieve compaction, improve drainage and allow more air to reach the roots, resulting in a healthier lawn. If you’d rather wait until spring to do this job, make a note of where the puddling occurs so you can take a targeted approach when the time comes.
Quick Lawn with Accelerator-treated seed
Who has time nowadays to wait for a new lawn? Quick Lawn’s new formula offers rapid germination and fast establishment – all while needing just a third of the amount of water that’s usually required to get new lawns going. Gardeners benefit from a strong, thick and healthy lawn, even in cold or wet conditions, with the seed mix delivering 38% more grass within the first seven days, compared to grass seed that doesn’t benefit from Johnsons’ innovative, quick-off-the-mark Accelerator seed coating.