Having a great looking lawn in winter is often a very hard thing to achieve. Despite this, I seem to drive around town and notice that for many other lawn owners, the concept is merely a myth and they have a sea of beautiful green carpet surrounding their home. Yet in years past all we seem to achieve is a lawn in a state of decline, lacking in colour, bare patches and thinning out of the thatch layer.
I have done my research and am determined to maintain a beautiful lawn throughout the winter months.
What’s the issue?
For most lawn owners in Australia, we grow warm season grasses for use as our lawns, which means in warmer weather, the grasses thrive, and as the temperature drops, the growth slows and often go into a state of semi-hibernation.
With a drop in temperature grasses lose their dark colour, and become slower to re-grow and repair damage. Another factor is the position of the sun. As the sun drops lower, shade increases. That combined with lower daylight hours and a massive reduction in direct sunlight and lower soil temperatures, lawns are at their most vulnerable.
Okay, so we know all of the problems faced during winter, so here’s 4 easy tips give your lawn the best chance in winter.
Tip 1 – Increased mowing height
During winter the daylight hours decrease. By increasing the mower height increases the ability of your lawn to photosynthesise. If you increase the mowing height and leave more green leaf it increases the food supply to the grass. This step is essential, so take the mower up a notch or two. It’s also important to decrease watering during the colder months. Over watering at this time of year can increase the possibility of turf diseases or rotting of the thatch layer.
Tip 2 – Fertilise Properly
It’s important to have a plan for fertilising at the right times with the right fertilisers. Be sure to apply the fertiliser to the manufacturers recommendations and do not increase amounts or frequencies. Winter fertilisers contain higher levels of Iron which is essential for good lawn health through Winter.
Tip 3 – Iradicate winter weeds
Broadleaf weeds will become more prominent in winter as conditions for their survival improve, and as the ability for the lawn to fight against them decreases. They need to be treated now otherwise they will cause a huge headache when it starts warming up.
Tip 4 – Pruning
If you have trees that are overgrown this will reduce the amount of shade in winter and decrease the available light for your lawn. By the time you notice that your lawn has started dying in affected areas, it too late to repair the damage. Plan ahead and prune asap.