Keeping your lawn green this Winter
Author: Stefan Palm Date Posted: 30 May 2019
Can you maintain a green lawn in winter? By understanding the factors that sap the colour out of lawns in the cooler months, you can certainly keep your lawn a lot greener than you might think!
Winter brings with it some challenges for lawns. The most popular varieties in South Australia (Couch, Kikuyu and Buffalo) are probably already in winter dormancy given that we are now consistently seeing temperatures in the mid teens. No amount of fertilising, extra water or special maintenance will make them grow until the weather warms up again in spring.
In my experience, many people resign themselves to the reality that their lawn will probably lose colour and look shabby through the winter months and while this may be true in part, there are quite a few things that you can do to limit this degradation. Now and over the next few weeks, I’ll write about the common things to watch out for and give you some practical tips and advice on maintaining your best lawn from now through to spring. I’ll talk about the effects of poor drainage, moss and algae, frost, weeds and overuse during winter – all being factors that will affect your lawns colour and appearance.
Mowing and Maintenance
For now, I’ll focus mowing and maintenance. As I mentioned earlier, if your lawn hasn’t already, it’s about too dive into winter dormancy. This means there will be very little growth over the next 3-4 months. Kikuyu will have the shortest dormancy period (becoming active again in September) while buffalo will have the longest, not emerging into season until mid to late October. Couch grasses lie somewhere in the middle. During this time, you won’t need to do much maintenance at all – this is completely normal.
- If you feel like you need to mow, do so carefully. In a blog earlier this month, I talked about raising the mower height by a notch (equivalent to 5mm) which is important to ensure you don’t scalp the lawn. This will leave more blades present on your lawn which will add to its overall greenness.
- If you have deciduous trees that haven't completely shed their leaves yet, run over the lawn every now and again for the next few weeks with your rotary style mower on its highest setting to suck up excessive amounts of leaves that have fallen. To many leaves can shade out the lawn which will result in colour loss.
- Avoid heavy maintenance like coring, top dressing or scarifying until late Winter or early Spring. While these exercises won’t damage your lawn if done during winter, they will discolour it significantly.
There isn’t much else to consider when talking about mowing and maintenance during Winter. Most lawns will be happy to take a break for a few months and then emerge again in Spring when temperatures are on the upper. The most important takeaway here is this; During Winter, limit any activities that will remove or shorten the blades on your lawn.
Next week, I’ll talk about the effects of overuse on lawns during winter and how that effects the lawns overall colour.
If you need any help or advice, feel free to give me a call on 08 8298 0555 during business hours or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
My amazingly green lawn at this time of the yearBy: Ann Wilson on 6 June 2019Hi Paul I am new at lawn maintenance and how to and when to mow and have regularly called your shop for ongoing tips I regularly fertilised which was only three times this year with your fertilisers and Munns Emmerald green early in April Now I am so proud of my lawn it’s luscious and so green when my neighbours’ lawns are faded in colour and weeds showing I also have been following your weekly tips about treating weeds and raising my mower now etc Thank your boys for always giving me the best advice whenever I call I usually buy up big supplies as I live on the other side of Adelaide saving me lots of trips to buy products
Paul Munns Instant Lawn Response
Hey Ann, Thanks for your kind words! It's great to get feedback from time to time.
CloverBy: John Koumi on 3 June 2019Thanks for that clear information. I will treat broadleaf weeds with a dabber. When should I spray for clover in my Kikuyu lawn?
Paul Munns Instant Lawn Response
Hey John, If you're seeing clover appear at this time of year, there is a fair chance it is juvenile sour sobs. To check, have a look at this link - https://www.paulmunnsinstantlawn.com.au/blog/weeds-category/weed-spotlight-soursobs/. This blog will help you determine which weed it is and then how and when to control it.