Garden lawns are easily neglected during the winter months due to frost, cold temperatures, torrential rains and snow. However, with temperatures warmer than normal, lawns will still be growing, which means they need care and attention.
With that in mind, Chris McElroy, a lawn expert at The Grass People, shares three December gardening chores and five tips for taking care of grass in the colder months.
never walk on a frozen lawn
Walking on a frosted lawn may seem sound and satisfying, however, walking on frozen grass can damage the grass as the blades can split and break.
This means that when the grass wakes up in the spring, it may look yellow, brown or dead. The expert suggested that one should avoid walking on the grass till the frost melts completely.
still mowing your lawn (if necessary)
Any temperature below 5 °C and the lawn should stop growing, so mowing is not required during the winter months.
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Chris added: “However, some areas in the UK see temperatures higher than this during the winter months, so the grass generally continues to grow, but at a much slower rate.
“You should only mow your lawn if it is necessary and conditions are favorable. Therefore, it is not advisable to mow if heavy frost or snow is expected or if the ground is very wet.
“So if your grass is looking overgrown, and the weather is dry and above 5°C, there’s no harm in getting the mower out.”
sweep fallen leaves
The main thing gardeners need to do during the winter months is to periodically clean up fallen leaves and debris using a light rake or brush.
Wet leaves on a lawn may not seem like much of a problem, but the extra layer of moisture can saturate the grass underneath, which can lead to lawn diseases, and fusarium patch, also known as “snow mold.”
Instead, the leaves can be used as a mulch around trees and other plants to help retain moisture on dryer days. Alternatively, gardeners can rake the leaves along the edge of the lawn for wildlife.
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don’t build snowmen on your lawn
When it snows, building a snowman on the lawn is one of the first things kids want to do.
However, experts recommend “avoiding” a snowman on a lawn as heavy snow build-up on a portion of the grass will create the right conditions for fungal diseases such as fusarium patch to develop.
Snow mold thrives in wet, damp and musty conditions, causing the grass to turn yellow or brown.
General December Gardening Jobs
Keep fresh water out for birds during frosts
Frozen water is a challenge for birds as they struggle to find places to drink.
Although birds can digest ice, they have to use extra energy to heat it, so keeping water out for them makes life easier.
bring equipment indoors
Not moving your gardening equipment in winter can be a costly mistake come spring. Make sure all your tools and equipment are stored in a dry, cool place to avoid rust and other damage.
empty your shed
To save yourself some time next year, clean out your shed and organize it this winter. Not only can this help ensure that all of your tools are stored properly to avoid damage, but it will also help in the spring when you need to plant seeds and start more gardening.