Bringing your lawn out of Winter

The warmer weather signals not only the end of Winter, but the beginning of the growing phase for many varieties of lawn types. Bringing your lawn out of Winter will require a change to your lawn care regime and a little spring cleaning and TLC, but your turf will thank you for it and you’ll have a lush, green and healthy lawn to enjoy all Summer long.

 

During Winter your lawn has been in a dormant or no-grow stage, a bit like a bear in hibernation and like a bear waking up, so to does your lawn plants once Spring arrives and they too will be hungry. Lawns will need a bit of extra attention coming out of the colder months.

 

Firstly, you will need to know the type of lawn that you have? If you are unsure, take a sample to your local turf grower or nursery and they will set you straight. They are usually more than happy to give advice, so ask away. The variety of lawn will determine the fertilisers and weed control products that should be using and those to avoid.

 

Bringing your lawn out of Winter means attending to:

  • The pH level of your soil; you can easily check this by using a kit . It is imperative to know the pH level, before you select a fertiliser and apply it. The right fertiliser will feed your lawn and provide it with the nutrients it needs, but the wrong one will do more harm than good.
  • Look for compacted soil; if you cannot push a garden fork into the soil and have it go into the ground at least half way up the tines of the fork, then your soil is compacted. The lawn will need to be aerated in order for the lawn to thrive. Simply put you will need to take small cores out of the lawn, in order to create more spaces in the soil through which the water, oxygen and nutrients as well as earthworms can move.
  • Take a walk around; if your lawn is particularly spongy to walk on, then you may have to dethatch your lawn. Dethatching is the process of removing the built-up layer between the top of the lawn plants and the soil, a layer that can cause the plants to go across the surface of the lawn and can inhibit the healthy growth of the turf.
  • Since the warmer months equals increased lawn mowing frequency, now is the time to have your lawn mower serviced and in particular the blades sharpened. Don’t forget to adjust the mowing height. As the weather heats up you will want to lower the mowing height. If you use a lawn mowing service you will need to organise for them to attend more often, as we move out of Winter.
  • Fertilise with a product appropriate for the variety of lawn you have and the pH level of the soil. If you are unsure of the right product to use then seek some expert advice.
  • If your lawn needs an extra boost of nutrients, a top dressing mixture can be applied. Spread a top dressing mixture over the grass plants, leaving leaves visible, until it appears that the entire lawn has just been finely dusted. Water the top dressing in.
  • Check your local water restrictions and if possible water your lawn thoroughly during the first month of Spring, to ensure that your lawn is in the best possible condition heading into the warmer days.
  • Assess and repair any drainage issues, before the rainy season begins in earnest. Water that is allowed to sit on the lawn for a period of time can cause disease.
  • Check for weeds; remove by hand or if you have a larger lawn or a lot of weeds to contend with use a weed control product suited appropriately for your lawn variety and for the weeds you have present in the turf.
  • Trim overhanging trees that are causing too much shade in your lawn area and limiting the valuable sunlight that is reaching the lawn plants. This action will restrict the ability for moss to grow and take hold.

 

The process of bringing your lawn out of Winter may seem a little overwhelming, but by tackling one task at a time you will soon have it sorted. Spending a bit of time and effort now, will easily bring your lawn out of winter ready to be enjoyed, as the weather warms up and the days get longer.

Comments

  1. Excellent advise and article Terry. Many people overlook the task of applying a low or zero nitrogen fertiliser over the winter but it can make a huge difference to the health of a lawn the following spring. It makes the grass much more resilient to stress and damage over the winter.

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