Care Tips: How To Keep Your Lawn Healthy In Colder Weather
October 16, 2014 | HOW TO GUIDES
Making sure your lawn doesn’t die a chilly death in the harsh snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures of the British winter can be tricky – and it can also be disheartening to see all your hard work undone from the summer months.
So, that’s why our latest post here at Turf Express runs through how to keep it healthy throughout the winter. Firstly, you’ll need a pair of gardening gloves, a lawn aerator (or 'spiker') or garden fork, along with a lawn rake.
There are three important steps to follow:
Scarification: Rake It
Scarification involves raking the lawn to remove leaves, clippings and any other surface layer of debris. This is particularly important in autumn to help the grass ‘breathe’ well. Rake on dry days with a good quality lawn rake, removing all the debris. Wear gloves for protection from any sheltering insects.
Aeration: Spike It
Aeration with a lawn spiker or fork allows air to circulate and will improve the quality and appearance of your lawn. It is especially important in heavily trodden areas where the turf is compressed. Aeration will help loosen the soil and encourage healthy root growth.
Lawn rakers (and spikers) can be hired from local tool shops or gardening centres, or you can buy one if you’re thinking long-term.
Wait until just before rain is forecast. Use a moss killer such as lawn sand (or spray). Within a fortnight, the moss should die off and turn black. This is the time to get the lawn rake out again to remove the black areas. Address any causes of moss growth – reduce or remove low branches and trim hedges if they put part of the lawn in shade.
Lawn food is important – think of it as a tonic after the summer. Use a fertiliser that is high in potash and phosphates (a ‘high PK mix’) but low in nitrogen. Do not use spring fertilisers, as these encourage leaf growth. PK mixes help to promote healthy root development.
Calibrate And Spread
Some garden centres sell lawn repair kits. These include top dressing, a combination of lawn sand (moss killer) and feed, along with grass seed to use later on worn or bare patches. When spreading, use a proper spreader. Follow the calibration instructions to deliver the product at the correct rate - too little may have no effect and too much can be expensive or damage the lawn. Cordon off the treated areas as a reminder to not walk there. Try to not walk on wet or frosty lawns, as this will damage the grass.
At Turf Express, we can help with all your lawn requirements throughout Kent and the South East. If you would like advice or further information, please contact us on 0330 2000 777 or utilise our online enquiry form.