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Preparing Your Lawn For Winter
While winter is not the most comfortable time of year to be in the garden due to the frosty cold, it is important not to neglect your lawn maintenance. You won’t have to mow as often during winter, so it’s great to reallocate that saved time to get on top of those winter weeds and perhaps give your lawn a little more colour… then retreat into the warmth of the open fire until spring!
Mowing in Winter
As your lawn enters winter dormancy, warm season grasses slow down, grow less and may lose some colour. As a result, you will need to mow winter grass less frequently during this period or only as needed. If your lawn does need a mow, remember to use a higher mowing height than you would in summer.
Top Tips For Keeping Your Lawn Healthy In Winter
1. Apply ColourGuard Plus.
ColourGuard Plus is an organic grass colourant. It contains natural green pigment that is absorbed into the grass leaf to instantly restore colour. It also contains liquid nitrogen to strengthen and protect grass from lawn disease under extreme conditions. Apply ColourGuard Plus now to improve your lawn colour and help protect the leaf from the cold and frost.
2. Get your weeds under control.
After all the hard work you put into making your lawn look superb during the warmer months, everyday winter weeds can be extremely irritating. The best time to treat winter weeds in your lawn is during winter. This gives you the best chance of removing them before they seed and preventing them from coming back again next season.
3. Apply pre-emergent herbicide and fertiliser.
Spreading Oxafert now will give your lawn protection from winter weeds for up to three months. Oxafert is a pre-emergent herbicide that controls many of the annual grasses and broadleaf weeds that plague warm-season turf. Pre-emergent herbicides target weed seeds before they take hold by forming a barrier at soil level to prevent germination of new seedlings and are part of any good lawn care routine.
How to Restore Your Lawn After Winter
As warm-season lawns such as Sir Walter Buffalo, Eureka Premium Kikuyu, and TifTuf go into dormancy during the cooler months, they can suffer from what is commonly known as winter dieback or winter stress. This can result in thin, bare patches or a dry, straw-like appearance to your lawn and lose its green colour.
Why Does Winter Dieback Occur?
Warm-season turf can be burned by frost and damaged by wear when soil temperatures are very cold, and it won’t self-repair while it is dormant. Heavy shade due to the sun's lower position can also contribute to dieback, especially in the lawn’s first season. A lawn’s shade tolerance is relatively low in winter, even if you have cool-season grasses. As your lawn matures year on year, you will gradually encounter less and less winter dieback, and as long as you keep it healthy.
How Do I Recover My Lawn From Winter Dieback?
A good maintenance program with fertilising lawn care products at its core should start to recover a brown lawn. You should start your fertilisation plan in early spring before summer starts to give your lawn the best chance. Fertilising in September will kick your lawn into high growth, help self-repair those damaged areas and encourage a deep root system year-round.
- Apply a fertiliser every three weeks until the dead grass starts to self-repair and growth increases. If the affected area is larger than 30 cm2, you may want to consider replacing it with pieces of new lawn.
- Apply a liquid fertiliser along with the first Lawn Solutions Fertiliser application to give the new grass a solid boost of nitrogen to encourage growth. We recommend Exceed Liquid Fertiliser.
- Water regularly and maintain consistent mowing to prevent scalping. Avoid dull mower blades, as this can cause further damage.
With some simple awareness and good maintenance of your lawn after the cooler months, you’ll have a healthy lawn that can stay green all year round.
Quick Winter Lawn Care Questions
Does Turf Go Dormant in Winter?
Yes, pretty much all warm-season lawns will go dormant over the winter months. Lawns and most plants do this to conserve nutrients and moisture. So, you won’t see much growth from your lawn in winter, hence why you need to take a different approach to lawn maintenance in the winter.
Can I Water My Grass in Winter?
The short answer is yes, you can. However, the real question is – should you water your lawn in winter? You should only water your lawn in winter if it looks like it needs it. If you’re experiencing a particularly dry winter, you’ll need to water your lawn to keep the soil moist.
How Can I Prevent My Lawn From Frost Damage?
There aren’t a lot of ways to prevent frost damage on your lawn in the winter, but your lawn will cope the best if it’s well-hydrated and nutrient-rich.
Try to stay off your lawn during the frosty mornings, as heavy foot traffic can damage the frozen blades of grass. If you’re particularly worried, you can use a light predawn spray to maintain the lawn’s lush green colour and dissolve the frost faster.
Can I Lay a New Instant Lawn in Winter?
Yes! Instant lawns can be installed all year round and thrive if maintained correctly. Warm-season grasses will slow down growth in the cooler seasons, whereas cool-season grasses will thrive. We still suggest picking warm-season grass even though they lose vigour in winter; they’re perfect for pretty much any time of year.
Fix Your Instant Lawn in Winter With Lilydale Instant Lawn
Winter can be a tricky time for your lawn, with the cold weather and frost taking a toll on the grass. But don't worry, Lilydale Instant Lawn has you covered. For more seasonal lawn care tips or any other great turf questions, reach out to our expert lawn care specialists today!