If you have your sights set on a lush, green, weed-free lawn this spring and summer, there are a few things you can do over the colder months to keep it in in top shape. Lawncare during the winter comes down to very simple maintenance but, more important than anything, is ensuring you give the grass as much of a rest as possible. Follow lawncare expert, John Lawn Seeds’ top tips to keep your grass healthy and strong this winter.
Rest the lawn
If practical, keep off the lawn when it is wet or frosty. Grass will easily sustain damage during these conditions and will not be able to repair itself until the spring. This also means removing any garden furniture or outdoor toys sitting on the lawn. The weight of these objects over the course of the winter can kill or seriously stunt the growth of your grass. Keep pathways and sidewalks clear of snow and ice to discourage people from taking a shortcut across your lawn but don’t shovel or plough snow that is full of salt onto your grass and, if possible, try to use minimal salt near the lawn altogether. If you do need to use salt, opt for calcium chloride-based mixtures, which are less harmful than sodium chloride-based ones.
And, lastly, if you do get a heavy snowfall, build your snowman on a patio or hard ground, rather than the lawn. Snowmen take a long time to melt and disappear, which can also lead to disease in the grass underneath.
Clear up leaves and debris
This is potentially the most important job of all to help keep your lawn healthy. Clear up any leaves or debris, such as fallen branches, as often as you can. Fallen leaves trap moisture on the surface of the grass, which can lead to fungal infections. It can also cause a spike in worm activity, as they come to the surface to feed on the rotting organic matter and leave their worm casts behind. These casts are packed full of nutrients for your lawn, so the best action to take is wait until they are dry and then gently brush them back into the lawn with a garden brush.
Keep weeds and moss under control
Remove large weeds, as and when you spot them, to help reduce their spread across the lawn. Winter is a good time to attack any moss as well. If grass does sustain any damage during frosty or wet weather and is unable to repair itself in the cold, it can be left susceptible to diseases like Fusarium Patch and Snow Mould. Apply a moss killer at the same time as giving the lawn its winter feed.
Some people frown on cutting grass during winter. However, if there are any warm spells, your lawn will continue to grow – albeit at a much slower pace. You may find you need to trim the grass, as a result, but try and keep this to a bare minimum and be sure not to cut more than one third of the length. When planning your garden trim, look at the weather forecast and don’t mow the lawn when the grass is wet, frosty or when frost is expected. The winter is the perfect time to get your mower serviced to beat the rush in spring and also means you can get the blades sharpened, which is very important if you do need to cut the grass during the colder months. Dull mower blades will tear grass instead of cutting cleanly.
After heavy rainfall, you may notice puddles of water appearing on your lawn. This is a sign that the soil underneath the grass is compacted and in need of aeration. You can do this easily with a fork or spiking machine. This simple action will relieve compaction, improve drainage and allow more air to reach the roots, resulting in a healthier lawn. If you’d rather wait until spring to do this job, make a note of where the puddling occurs so you can take a targeted approach when the time comes.
Winter may be here at present but there are signs that spring is on its way. For lawn owners spring is the perfect time to get their green swathes looking their best with some much-needed TLC as well as overseeding sparse areas. Here we find out more about the different lawn seed varieties from Johnsons Lawn Seed and help you identify the right choice for your garden.
1) Tuffgrass with Dog Patch Resistance
Tuffgrass solves a problem that’s dogged lawn-owners for years: ugly patches that appear after four-legged friends use grass as their toilet. By incorporating naturally dog urine-tolerant fine-leaved dwarf perennial ryegrass, scorched yellow patches in lawns have been consigned to history while lawns sown from Tuffgrass have excellent drought-resistance and stand up well to low temperatures and snow.
2) Quick Lawn with Accelerator-treated seed
Who has time nowadays to wait for a new lawn? Quick Lawn’s new formula offers rapid germination and fast establishment – all while needing just a third of the amount of water that’s usually required to get new lawns going. Gardeners benefit from a strong, thick and healthy lawn, even in cold or wet conditions, with the seed mix delivering 38% more grass within the first seven days, compared to grass seed that doesn’t benefit from Johnsons’ innovative, quick-off-the-mark Accelerator seed coating.
3) Luxury Lawn Seed
Are you craving a fine, dense, deluxe lawn that’ll have the neighbours swooning over its manicured stripes? Luxury Lawn is a traditional mix that’s designed to be mown close while retaining a lush, high-class appearance. Offering excellent drought-resistance, Luxury Lawn will thrive in shady areas too, with its dense sward giving unsightly weeds little space to establish.
With wet winters and drought-hit summers now common across the UK, conditions are ripe for invasions of moss – which is particularly problematic in poorly drained and low nutrient soil, in shady areas, or as a result of mowing too close. Let After Moss come to the rescue: it’s coated in a special calcium carbonate-based shell that gently raises the pH level of the soil to help deter the return of moss. As an added bonus, the mix incorporates Green Lawn technology for a lush, green sward to be proud of.
5) Lawn Thickener Lawn Seed with SeedBooster
Transform tired lawns, fix patches, sow new lawns and benefit from 30% more grass with this latest seed technology. Developed for professional turf care, each seed is wrapped in a parcel of fast and slow-release fertiliser. The result? Seeds germinate sooner and establish faster! The clever coating also harmlessly deters hungry birds from feasting on newly-sown grass seed.
Every garden has a shady area that’s home to scruffy grass due to a lack of light or dry ground conditions. Offering excellent drought-resistance for one of the most challenging situations in which to nurture a lush lawn, Shady Place is ideal for semi and relatively shaded areas under trees, or next to high walls and hedges. It thrives in damp or dry shade, resulting in lawns with a fine appearance.
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To find out more about Johnsons Lawn Seed products please visit http://www.johnsonslawnseed.com/product-range.aspx