Hints & Tips
Around this time of year, looking after your lawn can be a precarious business (well, as far as gardening goes, anyway).
The views are mixed about how and when you should cut your grass during the winter months, with opinions ranging from simply carrying on as normal to stop looking after it full stop until spring returns.
But what's the best approach? In our opinion, it's probably somewhere in the middle.
The main reason why some experts warn not to touch your lawn between late November and early March is the view that grass stops growing during this period. However, this isn't entirely true.
On the contrary, your grass never stops growing – it just dramatically slows down. With this in mind, a trim may be occasionally needed, but make sure you don't cut down too low – as this could could more harm than good.
Colder surroundings have the biggest impact on the rate of growth, with the temperature of the air and nearby soil both affecting your lawn's ability to replenish itself. However, if the mercury remains above five degrees celsius, then your grass should continue to grow.
What stops me mowing the lawn in the winter?
So, instead of your lawn maintenance being affected by the grass not growing, it's actually more about knowing when you can cut your lawn without it doing damage.
Some of the conditions likely to limit your opportunities to get out your lawnmower include:
- Heavy rain and/or waterlogging – as you might imagine, this can create a terrible mess if you decide to cut the grass when there is standing water on the lawn. Churning your lawn up can result in a long wait until it looks pristine again, especially with it taking longer to grow back!
- Ground frost or snow – stepping on your lawn when snow or frost is present can really damage it, potentially fracturing your blades and leaving horrible footprints of 'broken' grass across your garden. As a result, pushing your lawnmower across it as well isn't ever going to be a good idea.
- Worm casts – caused as a result of not clearing up dead leaves from your lawn, using your mower over worm casts can turn your grassy area into a muddy and slippery surface. Hardly the lush green effect you're going for.
When to cut your grass in winter
After you've made sure you've avoided the above conditions when planning to mow your lawn, what else do you need to think about?
For a start, you need to check that your lawn actually needs it. It shouldn't just be a case of cutting your grass every fortnight or so – because grass growth is dependent on the temperature, you can't really schedule ahead when you're going to carry out this task. Instead, assess the situation on a day-by-day basis if needs be.
When you do think it's time to take your lawnmower into action, remember to set it to a high cut. If not, you could end up taking off too much – leaving you with bare patches that could take a long time to grow back.