Don’t ignore your lawn in winter

Don’t ignore your lawn in winter

It’s tempting to stop work on your lawn during winter however, if you put in some effort during the cooler months, you can make your lawn look vibrant and healthy come spring.

 Just remember, that your lawn may go dormant during winter while your soil remains moist. Therefore you must adjust your water regime during colder months.  Below are some of the basic tasks you need to perform. These include how often and when to water your lawn in winter.

Removing weeds

During winter, weeds take advantage of the lawn’s weakened state to fill every possible gap.

Winter weeds germinate at lower soil temperatures, often coming in around April/Easter and May.

Bindi Burr and Broad-Leafed weeds can be relatively easily controlled with the help of a selective herbicide.

Winter is the time for a herbicide that removes invaders without causing damage to the lawn – always make sure you read the label to ensure the chemical is suitable for your grass variety.

Typical examples of Broad-Leafed weeds are Bindi Burr, Clover, Dandelions, Capeweed, Cudweed and Thistles.

Many traditional pre-emergent herbicides containing the ingredient Dicamba work well with lawn types such as Kikuyu and Couch but can be detrimental to new lawns and varieties like Buffalo.

myhomeTURF recommends two types of pre-emergent herbicides – Oxafert and Embargo – both well respected products of LawnPride Australia.

Oxafert (left) is a combination product containing fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide for the control of Crowsfoot Grass, Summer Grass, Winter Grass and Oxalis. 

Embargo (right) is an effective pre-emergent control of certain grass and broadleaf weeds in Buffalo turf. Including Crowsfoot Grass, Summer Grass, Winter Grass, and other grassy weeds. 

For non-Buffalo lawn types we recommend other LawnPride Australia pre-emergent herbicides.

Do you have a weed in your lawn and you need to find out what it is? See our article A Guide to the most common lawn weeds

Fertilising

Late August is the perfect time to feed your lawn and, these days, the availability of slow release lawn foods means this task is much easier than it used to be. 

LawnPride again has a good selection of these new feeds packed with nutrients, including slow release turf, organic, grain and liquid fertilisers.

Another option is a good Organic Booster Fertiliser that is pH neutral, using aerobically composted poultry manure. Organic Booster is a natural manure fertiliser to boost your soil.

For more information see our Article Fertilising Lawns in Winter

Aeration

At the end of winter soil’s often compact so the lawn will benefit from a good aeration.

Do this by energetically pushing a fork, or aerating shoes, as far as possible vertically into the soil or, if you’re really keen, hiring a mechanical aerator. 

Also, always be careful of any underground irrigation lines when aerating.

If its been a dry winter, adding a wetting agent that attracts water to the soil and improves your lawn’s health is a good option. 

Click here to find When should I aerate my lawn?

Mow higher and less frequently

When the cooler months set in, you will notice that the grass grows slower.

During this period, it is advisable to raise the mowing height to prevent damaging the grass which can result in scalping and browning.

Repeated scalping weakens the grass and leaves it vulnerable to the onslaught of diseases and weeds.

In mowing your lawn, do not cut the grass lower than 2.5cm.

And instead of mowing the grass every week, mow your lawn once every three to four weeks, depending on the type of lawn on your property.

Do you have Buffalo grass? Click here to find out Lawn Mowing Heights for Buffalo Grass

Less watering

Unless the grass looks very dry and the leaf is wilting, don’t water your lawn.  If you must water your lawn, do it early in the morning.

Over-watering your lawn during the winter only leaves the grass vulnerable to fungi.

If you’re looking for a new turf, check out fast facts and Q&As on our varieties –

Or, check out our handy Quick Lawn Selection Guide.

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