Winter Lawn Care Lawn Diseases

The Do’s & Don’t of Winter Lawn Care

The majority of people stop thinking about their lawn over the winter period, however, we thought we’d make you aware of the do’s and don’ts of winter lawn care.

The Do’s of Winter Lawn Care

There are a number of lawn care treatments that can be considered, in managing the quality of the lawn throughout the winter, and while the management of such treatments are weather dependent, it would be wrong not to consider the benefits of the following;

  • Aeration
    – Winter aeration will maintain drainage and air to the grassroots. All forms of aeration are weather-related, and you should never aerate when there is frost in the ground or immediately after the clearance of snow
  • Fertiliser applications
    – A winter fertiliser application, containing ferrous sulphate is ideal in preventing moss development, prior to any scarification planned for the spring
  • Lawn pests
    – A mild winter will allow lawn pests such as chafer grubs and leatherjackets to remain active for longer.
    –  If you notice a disturbance in the lawn surface, then it is likely that you have pests active in the soil, so do not fail in contacting your local TruGreen expert who will assess the conditions prior to making a decision on any treatment necessary.
  • Mowing
    – While the mowing schedule is greatly reduced during the winter months, it would be wrong to say that the mower will not be used again until the spring.
    – Only mow when necessary, maintaining a height of cut in the region of 30-35mm, and wherever possible use a rotary mower, as this will reduce the chances of compaction.
    – Do not mow if frosts are expected in the following couple of nights, or if the ground is waterlogged especially after the clearance of snow.
    – Leaving the grass unattended during the winter months can increase the chances of turf diseases, as moisture levels at the base of the plant increase.
  • Clear leaves and debris
    – Autumn leaves can smother a lawn, preventing light and air from getting to the grass plant; Without light and air, the plant becomes weaker, providing the perfect condition for the development of damp-related lawn diseases
    – Our advice would be to keep the lawn free of leaves throughout the autumn and winter; make the most of any dry days by raking the leaves from the lawn surface, or alternatively use a leaf blower.
    – Not only will clearing the leaves and debris help your lawn to survive the winter, but will give you the perfect material to add to your compost heap for use next year.
  • Beware of lawn diseases during the winter
    – The past couple of winters have been damp and wet and should this be the case again this year, then we are likely to see a period where damp related turf diseases will become widespread.
    – The fungus can live for years in the thatch and soil but is commonly undetected due to the weather in the UK being less conducive to its growth.
    – Early identification and treatment are important in controlling common winter diseases effectively, so give your local TruGreen expert a call as soon as you see any patches similar to those below on your lawn.
    – Microdochium patch and snow mould, if left untreated can result in large bare patches on the lawn, along with giving the perfect conditions for moss to form.

Winter Lawn Care Lawn Diseases

Winter lawn care lawn diseases

The Don’ts of Winter Lawn Care

There are some treatments you do not want to do on your lawn during the winter months. These treatments would cause a negative effect on your lawn.

  • Scarification
    – Scarification should never be carried out during the winter months, as this process will not be successful during a period in the year when the grass is dormant, meaning that there will be little recovery until the spring.
    – Not only is this the wrong time of year to scarify, but the fact that there will be limited regeneration of the grasses will allow moss and early spring season weeds to invade the lawn, meaning that the scarification will need to be completed again.
    – We would strongly advise that you wait until the spring for any scarification to be completed, when the ground conditions will allow for the successful removal of thatch, mosses and weeds, as with the grasses coming into growth this will allow for a rapid recovery, and aesthetically pleasing lawn sooner.
  • Weeds
    – All turf weeds need to be in growth to allow them to be treated, so we will not complete any weed control until we are sure that this is the case. All of our lawn care experts are trained in identifying the correct time for the application of weed killers and will advise you as to when this work should be done.
  • Frost and Snow
    – Try not to walk on the lawn when it is frozen or covered in snow, as this can cause blackening of the leaf and damage to the plant.

For any more information on winter lawn care or any other services through the year contact your local TruGreen here.