Taking care of your lawn during winter is important. Otherwise, the health of your lawn can be affected, and this may cause damage to the turf.
There are few things you should be aware about when caring for your lawn during winter especially when mowing your lawn; applying fertiliser; walking, working and playing on your lawn; and, aerating your lawn.
During winter, temperatures are low and there is more moisture in the air. It will also rain more often. Cooler temperatures mean that during dusk, night and dawn, there is a greater chance of frost. Your lawn will be exposed to the elements, and greater care is required to protect the turf. Here are some great tips to take care of your lawn during winter.
When mowing your lawn during winter, it is important to raise the height of your mower. For example, for the Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo turf the height of the mower should be set to around 40-50 mm. This rule of thumb also applies to other turf varieties. Use a ruler to make sure you choose the right setting on your mower. If you do not have a ruler handy, plant your middle finger into the turf and check that the blade of the turf reaches your second knuckle from the fingertip. This will ensure that there is enough growth on the grass to protect the root system from frost and becoming too cold.
You should continue to fertilise your turf during winter. However, do not apply a fertiliser that has a high concentration of nitrogen. Nitrogen helps absorb moisture and during winter it will make the blades of your lawn too moist. This will make your lawn more susceptible to frost which can damage your turf. Instead, use a lawn starter with higher levels of phosphorus and potassium. This will harden the leaves and give essential nutrients to the root system which are essential during winter.
Winter Lawn Care Tips by Bruce
During the cooler months, lawns are more susceptible to wear. After mowing your lawn, you should spread the wear. If you see that your lawn is worn in a few places, use obstacles (e.g. garden ornament, table, pot plant, etc.) to avoid foot traffic especially if you have pets who will track along the same path. This will allow the lawn to repair itself, which may take a bit longer compared to the warmer months. You should also aerate the lawn to prevent dampness and moisture build-up which will protect the root system of your turf and keep it healthy.
It is important to aerate your lawn. This can be achieved by using an ordinary garden fork that is clean and sharp. Insert the fork into the grass about a 100 mm deep. Rock it gently backwards and forwards, but avoid breaking through the surface which will damage the root system. These holes will allow air to enter the sub-surface and enable moisture to dry up, and also allow the rain to penetrate through the root system where the grass is heavily compacted and needs to be relieved. Repeat this process every 80 mm apart throughout your lawn.
During winter, and also throughout the rest of the year, check that your mower blades are sharp. Blunt mower blades can shatter the leaf which will damage your turf and stunt its growth. This can enable disease to enter the turf, which will not be a good outcome for your lawn!
Avoid using a mower without a catcher during winter. Without a catcher, the cut lawn will spread across your turf. Leaving lawn clippings on the surface will decay over time and create an ideal breeding ground for disease. If you do not have a catcher, make sure you rake all the clippings and deposit them carefully into your garden waste bin. Always ensure that your turf is clean and free from leaves and other garden matter to prevent decay.
At Anco Turf, we specialise in selling a wide range of real natural turf for your property. The types of turf that we stock include Sir Walter DNA Certified, Eureka Kikuyu, Nullarbor Couch, RTF Tall Fescue, Sir Grange and Turf Tablet. Either visit us in store, buy turf grass online or contact us on 1800 010 110 for further information. We also sell lawn care and maintenance supplies, and we can provide other great lawn care tips too!