When it comes to lawn care, winter is the most hands-off season of the year. For much of the time, you might even feel that winter lawn care amounts to little more than just keeping an eye out. In winter, grass will hardly grow (only when above 5 °C) and will not require much mowing. In any case, it’s hardly the time of year when your lawn will see much use. A good autumn lawn care regime should ensure your lawn is thick and even enough to see out the harsh winter months.
There are, however, a few things that might need tending to throughout the winter, and several things you can do to prepare for a vigorous spring lawn care regime.
Ideally, your lawn should be left a little longer than it normally is during the summer months, and should only be cut when absolutely necessary (this will not be very often). What this does mean however is that this is an ideal to time to have your mower serviced, making sure you have sharp blades and a smooth running mechanism in time for spring.
Dealing with Leaves and Debris
One of the few jobs you will have to attend to in winter is to tidy up leaves, twigs and other debris from your lawn. Fallen leaves can trap moisture where you don’t want it, encouraging lawn diseases and worm activity. Use a rake to clear your lawn whenever it appears visibly cluttered. However, never scarify your lawn during winter. This process relies on the regrowth of plant material and this does not occur during winter. Scarifying your lawn could lead to a thinned-out lawn unable to withstand the winter weather.
During the winter months, look out for a puddling effect on your lawn after periods of rain. This is a sign that the soil underneath is compacted or overly hardened the cold. In the winter months, this can happen more easily (although aerating the lawn in late autumn can effectively prevent it).
If this happens, you will need to aerate your lawn. You can do this with specialised aerating or ‘spiking’ tool but a common fork works just as well. Across your lawn, evenly prod the soil, in order to loosen and break it up. This will improve drainage and lay the groundwork for deeper root penetration in spring.