As Autumn shifts further towards winter, we’re not getting many dry days. If you haven’t done so already, you may be waiting to pull the lawnmower out for final mowing session. Here are a few winter lawn care tips to help keep the grass in excellent condition, especially if this turns out to be a particularly wet or frosty one.
Gradually cut the grass short
Ideally, you gradually reduce the height of the lawnmower so that the grass it cut lower and lower. The gradual reduction in grass height prevents the grass from going in to “shock”. But still shortens it enough to deter rodents from nesting. In urban areas, rodent infestations are less common, but field mice can create nests in taller grass during the winter. This tears up large areas of grass and create ‘dead patches’ that can take months to heal.
Winter Lawn Care: use an aerator.
Frost and cold weather solidifies and compresses the earth, which can cause damage to your lawn. An aerator adds space to the soil which can prevent over-compaction. Some experts will also apply fertiliser at this point – this is something worth experimenting with to see if you notice appreciable results. If you’re aerating and fertilising using a tractor mower, avoid doing this in a strip pattern as you would when cutting the grass, as this can cause your lawn to grow in unnaturally straight-looking patterns.
Keep the lawn clear
We all know this but it bears repeating — don’t leave anything on the lawn over the winter months. Check to ensure there’s nothing forgotten about, like a compost bin lid that came loose in the wind, a trailer for your tractor mower, or a few blocks from your greenhouse project that were left aside — they’ll kill the grass.
Winter Lawn Care: Avoid Making Pathways
You might get away with it in summer, but as the ground turns to mud, taking the same pathways through the grass will kill the grass and create hardened pathways that can be difficult to fix next year. And of course, this applies ten times over for vehicles. If you must pass through the lawn try to take different routes each time when possible.
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