In many aspects of life, making the right choices now will help you avoid a lot of trouble in the future. This is particularly true when it comes to lawn maintenance. The lead up to winter is a pivotal time to prepare your lawn and help to minimise any avoidable damage and further negative ramifications.
Here at Hi Quality Turf we’re passionate about all things lawn related. We’re committed to helping our customers give their lawns the best possible chance to survive the onset of a colder winter climate. We’ve composed this handy guide of lawn maintenance practises, to help keep your lawn healthy and implement safeguards to avoid the onset of avoidable problems.
Cut Your Grass Short
Different seasons dictate a different approach to your mowing habits. As autumn comes to an end, we recommend dropping the blade to a slightly lower setting for the last two cuts.
In order to get a head start on summer, make sure there’s plenty of sun shining down upon your lawn. The more sunlight that can reach this area where new growth emerges in springtime – the quicker and healthier it will be!
With the onset of a colder climate, you’ll also want to cut back on your mowing frequency as a lot of grasses will go into dormancy.
Rake Up All the Leaves and Debris
The onset of autumn comes with a greater shredding of leaves and other debris accumulating on your lawn. This is something you will need to get on top of and keep clean, as it will otherwise prevent your lawn from getting direct sunlight. The presence of a barrier between the turf and daylight can also cause the lawn to become damp, leading to fungal disease.
Once leaves start building up. You can simply rake them into piles and add them to compost or use them as mulch for your vegetables.
Fertilise Your Lawn One Last Time
As winter approaches, autumn is an ideal time to fertilise your lawn. This will help the turf to strengthen in the lead up to the harsher winter conditions. A fertiliser brings nutrients deep into your lawn so it can grow strong roots, which in turn produces healthier grass when it wakes back up again next spring.
Applying a quality slow-release fertiliser will work best to strengthen the roots over a greater period from weeks rather than just days. When applying, make sure you spread it evenly across the lawn, and water it in well so that the nutrients can be easily absorbed.
Water Your Lawn Regularly
In summer, with the increased heat, your lawn has greater water requirements and needs to be watered regularly. To give your lawn the best chance of coping with a harsher winter climate, you should continue this regular watering schedule right up until the weather becomes too cold.
Once winter arrives, you can scale down your watering to a more as needed basis.
The leaves on your lawn will start to curl up if they’re not getting enough water. When this happens you should give them a watering, otherwise it’s best not to put too much moisture into that soil as this can cause it to become compacted and dense.
Protect Your Trees and Shrubs
Pruning and the use of tree wraps or burlap sacks is a great way of protecting your trees and shrubs from the harsh winter climate.
If left unattended, overgrown trees and shrubs will block the sun; leaving portions of your lawn sun-starved come spring. As such, you should prune them before winter comes. You should also get rid of any dead branches as they are a perfect place for fungus.
You can also wrap tree trunks in tree-wraps, and bushes will benefit greatly from being wrapped in a burlap sack for the winter. Having adequate protection will provide a barrier from any winter frost and wind.
Inspect Your Gutters And Downpipes
Rain gutters and downpipes perform a vital preventative role for your home. They protect your lawn and landscaping from severe runoff, while also preventing damage to your home’s foundation.
It’s essential that your gutter system is in good working order so that it doesn’t start pulling away from the roof or lead to future problems, especially during times of heavy rain. As such, you should regularly inspect your gutter system for any signs of damage and perform any required maintenance. Any needed repairs should be done as early as possible, as the longer you wait to do the repairs, the more expensive it will be. You don’t want that!
Most Australian lawns are warm season varieties, so don’t do particularly well in the cooler times of the year. They will generally go dormant, waiting for the warmer weather to spring to life again. During this time of dormancy, they can unfortunately be relatively defenceless against the harsh winter climate.
Fortunately by following some basic lawn maintenance practises you can help keep your lawn unharmed through the winter and prevent any potential trouble before it even sets in.
In the lead up to winter, make sure you rake up all the leaves and other debris. This will help your lawn keep an unobstructed access to the sun and avoid the retention of dampness. You should cut your grass short to allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, and keep watering your lawn regularly right up to until the weather becomes too cold. Before winter sets in you should also use a slow-release fertiliser to help your lawn grow strong deep roots.
As part of your general yard maintenance, don’t forget to protect any trees or shrubs on your property with tree wraps or burlap sacks, and inspect your gutters and downspouts for any damage that needs to be repaired.
We hope this blog has been informative and armed you with the right information to prepare your lawn for winter. Should you require any additional tips on maintenance or any other lawn related matters, feel free to contact us at Hi Quality Turf. We have our very own turf farm, so are uniquely positioned to give expert advice from seedling all the way through to long-term maintenance.
For any of your lawn needs, why not contact us today.