‘But it’s not really growing?’ I hear you say. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as Winter lawn care. Whilst your lawn probably isn’t actively growing and pulling out the mower is a rare occurrence this time of year, there are still things you can do to ensure your lawn holds up well and is ready to start growing quickly again come Spring.
Over winter, you shouldn’t need to water your lawn too much, if at all. So, switch off your timers and simply water on an as-needed basis. You will know if your lawn is dry as the leaves will curl, in which case, give it a drink, otherwise it’s best to leave it be. You don’t want to put excess moisture into the soil if you can avoid it, as this will only encourage compaction. If you are super keen to keep as much colour as possible though, you can give your lawn a very light watering just before the sun comes up in the mornings, to remove frost from the leaf.
Service Your Mower
During winter, your mower will get to take a bit of a break, as you’ll be best to leave extra length on the leaf, especially in shaded areas. Leaving your lawn on the long side will mean there is extra leaf area for photosynthesis, which will help to keep your lawn healthier and hold out those pesky winter weeds. It’s a good time of year to perform a bit of maintenance on your trusty mower, like sharpening the blades ready for spring time dethatching.
Compaction can be a bit of a problem over winter, particularly in high wear areas, or if you have a bit of wet weather. Try to avoid traffic on your lawn wherever possible, or regularly aerate any areas which cannot be avoided to help loosen the soil. The same applies after heavy rains, particularly if water tends to pool or the soil gets a bit waterlogged. This will help the air get to the root zone, allowing your lawn to breathe and avoid suffocation in heavy compacted soil.
Take Action Against Weeds
Winter is the time when those nasty weeds may appear, as the growth habit of your lawn won’t be as tight as during the warmer months. Make sure you spray them during the winter, particularly bindii, as if they’re allowed to seed, they will return again even more of a problem than the previous year. Broadleaf weeds, bindii and clover can be controlled using Bin-die Selective Weeder or Lawn Solutions Australia All Purpose Weed Control. Invasive grasses on the other hand, such as Winter Grass, will need to be eradicated using a specialised product such as Winter Grass Killer.
Finally, just remember, if your lawn is a warm season grass, you should expect some loss of colour. You can combat this by using ColourGuard. The degree of colour loss will vary according to the aspect of the lawn and your climate. Frost will tend to cause the leaves to brown, and areas such as the nature strip which are exposed to the elements will generally lose more colour than a backyard which are protected by fencing and gardens. In any case, just remember, spring will be here eventually!
Check out the Lawn Solutions Australia lawn care page for more helpful tips and advice here.