So the trees have shed their leaves and frost is starting to appear on your windscreen in the mornings - it’s safe to say the winter months are well underway. Apart from starting to brave the shops to get through your dreaded Christmas list, you may also be wondering what you need to do for your lawn as we move through this colder time of year. There are a few key things that you should be thinking about, and we have addressed some of the most popular queries below.
Can I still lay turf during the winter months?
This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions at this time of year. And the answer? You absolutely can. Winter is often considered a good time of year to lay new turf as it has ample time to settle, root and establish before the summer months. It can also be beneficial as the turf rolls themselves last longer with the colder temperatures, meaning you are not under the usual time pressures when it comes to getting the turf laid. It's also advantageous to lay your turf in winter because it requires considerably less watering than other times of the year, saving you time and effort. Chances are that you will be using your garden less during the winter months meaning your freshly laid turf will not be walked on as much, which is key to your turf being successfully established. One thing you do need to be aware of is frozen ground. You should not try to lay new turf whilst the ground is frozen; it’s best to wait until it thaws to lay the turf.
Will frost have an adverse affect on my turf?
Turf can keep for several days longer than normal during the winter months, owing to the 'defrosting' process which is similar to that of your freezer at home. Cold snaps may cause your turf rolls to freeze - but if your turf does become frosty before you have laid it, don't panic! It will simply need to defrost and will then be fine to lay again. As I've said, you do need to be aware of whether the ground is frozen as you shouldn’t be trying to lay new turf on frozen ground. Once it's thawed, you're good to go. Cold snaps and frosty temperatures will not have a detrimental effect on your turf once it has been laid so there is nothing to worry about there. Should it snow, it’s important to ensure you keep an eye out for fusarium disease or 'snow mould' once the snow has melted. Try to avoid piling snow from driveways or garden paths onto your lawn as well - this will help to reduce the potential of snow mould. Newly laid lawns may struggle more because they have not had the time to build up a resistance against lawn diseases.
What maintenance do I need to be considering?
Your lawn should be very low maintenance during the winter months - definitely a good thing with the biting temperatures. It's important to try to keep off of your lawn where possible as any damage, which is more easily done during these types of conditions, will not repair itself until the springtime. You should try to keep your lawn free of leaves with a light raking or brushing as fallen leaves can trap moisture and lead to disease and encourage worms and worm casts. Whilst worms are beneficial to your soil, it is advisable to leave the worm casts to dry and then simply brush them away. As the temperatures drop, the rate at which your grass is growing will naturally slow. This means that mowing should become an infrequent chore. This makes it a good time of year to get your mower serviced as you will be using it considerably less than normal. You should keep your cut height at approximately 25% higher than during the summer months.
Ultimately, winter is a very easy time for your turf, providing that the weather conditions are fairly stable. The drop in temperatures should have no terrible effect on your turf, only causing a problem where the ground is frozen and you are trying to lay new turf. The lack of dry periods and hot weather means your lawn should be very low maintenance which is good news all round. Should you have any queries about laying, storing or maintaining your turf throughout the winter period, please do not hesitate to contact one of our fabulously knowledgeable team members who will be able to help you.
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