Looking after our lawns becomes more crucial in winter, as frost and other harsh weather conditions can cause lasting damage. Just like most flowers, our lawn may also struggle to get the nutrients it needs during this season.
However, we might be causing more harm than good if we try to mow and weed our lawns in wintertime. It is important to know the best winter lawn care practices in order to prevent any irreparable damage.
To help you be as kind to your lawn as possible, our gardening experts have listed down the things you should and should not be doing, during the coldest season of the year.
1. Keep off the lawn
Especially when frozen, grass stems can easily break when people walk across the lawn. This is because frost acts like tiny knives that stab into grass blades when you put pressure on them, with your feet or with your car wheels.
Your lawn can then struggle to repair itself from damage. This means that one of the best ways to give your lawn the opportunity to survive the cold months is to stay off of it as much as possible.
2. Clear leaves
A few leaves here and there will not harm your lawn, but a pile of them will. Letting leaves accumulate can prevent your grass from receiving a sufficient amount of sunlight and oxygen. Additionally, leaves that become wet and stay on your lawn can promote an environment that is highly prone to fungus.
It is best to clear out any debris or leaves from your lawn every now and then, using a light brush or rake. Make sure to do this on the dryer and warmer days of the season.
In fact, failing to clear leaves or debris is one of the five ways you could be destroying your lawn, regardless of the season.
3. Consider winter lawn feeds
In the past, households didn’t apply lawn feeds during the winter because they can cause them excessive top growth. But, just because the surface of your lawn is frozen does not mean their roots aren’t growing.
This is why experts have formulated new lawn feeds specifically for the cold season. They aren’t as harsh as summer feeds so you can consider applying them this winter. You can choose between their quick-release, slow-release and liquid varieties. They should contain phosphorus, which is vital for plant metabolism and potassium, which ensures essential nutrients are carried around the whole plant.
In the summertime, meanwhile, you can also consider these unusual grass growth boosters you can find at home aside from lawn feeds.
4. Use salt alternatives
Sodium-based snow and ice removers can be extremely toxic to plants, including grass. And even though you won’t feel the damage in winter, you’ll see how the grass around your walkways and driveway turns brown come springtime.
To combat this issue, you can make use of safe salt alternatives such as calcium magnesium acetate, calcium chloride, or sand.
1. Mow your lawn
Lawns are at their most delicate state during the winter, so it’s important to take good care of them. When trimming your lawn, make sure not to cut it as short as you would during the summer. You should also never mow it if a frost is expected or if the ground conditions are wet, very soft, or frozen.
Additionally, winter is the best season to maintain your lawnmower — sharping its blades, changing its spark plug, and monitoring its oil level — as you won’t be needing it much. Discover some lawnmower storage ideas to keep your equipment well this winter too.
Scarifying the lawn during the winter is a bad idea since the cold will not allow the lawn to recover well from treatment. Additionally, your machine could break as the ground will be too hard during this season. You can best scarify your lawn in autumn when grasses are still growing strong, preferably from September to October.
Visit our blog on ways to revive your lawn in time for autumn to know how.
Though most people will instinctively try to pull weeds up from the lawn whenever they’re spotted, removing them during the winter could do more harm than good. This is because the grass around the weeds is trying to recover.
Nevertheless, weeds’ growth will likely slow down by the colder weather just like your lawn. When it isn’t the winter season, meanwhile, there are various ways to tackle weeds listed in our blog discussing ways to make your lawn look brand new.
4. Remove worm casts right away
Earthworms are generally beneficial to your lawn. They help improve both the soil structure and its nutrient content. However, they can leave little piles of soil called ‘worm casts’, creating unpleasant bumps in your lawn that can also encourage the growth of weeds.
Despite this, we may be tempted to remove them right away using a lawnmower during the winter. But, this equipment can merely flatten them and leave flat patches in the grass. Worm casts are best left to dry before sweeping them away using a stiff brush.