It is fair to say that in the winter months the amount of work that is required in the care of your lawn is less than any other time of the year. This is partly due to the fact that the winters in the United Kingdom might not necessarily be snow-filled but they are certainly colder, which results in less growth in your garden.
That said however depending on how much rainfall there is and how much sunlight there is there can be occasions when certain tasks might need to be performed to keep things tidy and to keep the lawn in a condition that is in keeping with its appearance during the rest of the year.
Jobs to Do
There might not be much call to mow the lawn but you should do so if you see any new growth to it, making sure to raise the blades as in months outside of the summer’s months the grass should be cut higher as growth is less.
Tidying the lawn of falling leaves from nearby trees is a must as this can sometimes increase the chances of disease if they are left unmoved.
Generally in the winter the lawn will remain steadfast in appearance but, if you have turf, then it is a good idea to check it over for any signs of any moulds such as snow mould, which as the name suggests, strikes normally in cold weather.
Snow Mould – or Fusarium nivale to give it its Latin name – often occurs at temperatures between 0°C and 8°C which are temperatures at which snow usually occurs, hence the name. To avoid Snow mould it is best to avoid high nitrogen fertilisers during the autumn period as too much growth and snow are a bad combination in winter months.
Removing thatch during the winter is a good way of preventing any diseases in your lawn as thatch allows for humid conditions under the soil – as it keeps the heat in – which can allow these diseases to thrive.
If you can rake the lawn as often as possible during this time to reduce the amount of thatch build up and thus reducing the risk of any disease taking hold.
Also in winter it is advisable not to walk on frosted grass if you can possibly help it. Walking on frosted grass only seeks to flatten it down and destroy healthy leaves and allow for a thatch-like effect to take hold causing some of the problems we have already mentioned.
The most important task a gardener can perform during the winter months is to service and maintain any equipment that might be used during the rest of the year.
A lawnmower for example should be dismantled and properly cleaned and oiled before being reassembled. If you have cause to use an electric or petrol powered mower during the winter months then, once it is used, it should be cleaned thoroughly before being returned to storage. It is also important to keep it in a place where it is not likely to become susceptible to damp or wet conditions that might bring about rust.
All other tools used in the garden such as rakes, spades, hoes etc should be cleaned and kept again in a place where damp or wet conditions cannot seek to cause rust and this means that when the time comes to bring this equipment back into service they are ready for use and free from rust.