Tips to create a ‘healthy’ lawn in winter

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Lawn care is extremely important all year round, even in the winter months. Although the grass needs a rest when the weather is cold, it should also be maintained by raking leaves. Keeping on top of lawn jobs can help to keep it healthy all winter long and prevent problems arising in spring.

Angela Slater, gardening expert at Hayes Garden World, shared her top tips on creating a “healthy lawn” this winter.

The expert said: “If the lawn is wet and waterlogged make sure you avoid walking over it as this can cause compaction and lead to even greater problems. 

“A healthy lawn needs a good even distribution of air pockets to allow the grass to thrive and if the soil is compacted the grass cannot grow and you will be left with soil like concrete and bare patches. 

“Rake up leaves as soon as they accumulate on the lawn as they block the light if left, which can lead to bare patches.”

Bare patches may appear on the lawn after raking it, which can mean the area of grass is worn out or undernourished.

However, bare spots will fill in on their own over time. If not, gardeners could sow new grass or take a patch from somewhere else in the garden.

The gardening expert added: “Make some leafmould by placing the leaves in a black plastic bin bag, squeeze out the air, pierce the bottom of the bag and leave in a corner for six months.

“After you can use it on herbaceous borders as a mulch and soil improver. 

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“If you don’t want to make leafmould just pile them in an out of the way corner where they will provide a habitat for insects and they will rot down naturally.”

Leafmould is great to use as an autumn top-dressing for lawns because it helps to keep weeds away.

The expert went on: “Deal with any moss by raking off with a spring rake, treating with a dedicated moss killer and aerating the soil by piercing with a fork at regular intervals.”

As well as dealing with moss, gardeners should be watching out for fungal patches.

Angela explained: “They may need treatment from a professional or if they are just small toadstools they will eventually disappear, and you may never get them again. 

“Sometimes a lawn feed can correct the problem.” Gardeners should make sure they are feeding their lawn with food formulated for autumn and winter use.

This should be applied between the months of October and February, every six to eight weeks if the weather allows.

With colder weather just around the corner, the UK may experience frosty spells during the morning.

It is important to never walk on the grass when the weather is frosty, as it can “break” the grass, as it is delicate. According to the expert, this can lead to brown patches, so it is best avoided.

The RHS added that if the lawn needs cutting during the winter months, it should be done so on a high cut setting.

However, this shouldn’t be performed when the ground conditions are soft or frozen. From November onwards, the grass will unlikely need a cut as it will enter dormancy. 

Britons also should not be worried if their lawn appears lifeless during the winter months, it could just be a sign it is resting.

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