Laying instant lawn during winter

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 1 April 2013 

“Is it too late to plant an instant lawn during winter?” – it’s a question we get asked almost every day during winter. Historically most people would say no, you can’t do it or at the very least think that it’s not the best time. Our opinion is, in most circumstances you can lay instant turf, even on the coldest day of winter.

So the question isn’t so much, “Can I plant a lawn in winter?”, it’s more like, “What measures should I take and what should I look out for when laying a lawn in winter?

Minimise usage because it is dormant. If you plant a lawn in winter it’s usually for cosmetic purposes only. Because it’s dormant, it won’t do much growing or establishing so try to stay off it. Keep in mind that if it gets damaged or worn, it won’t repair itself till spring.

If it doesn’t rain, you’ll need to regularly water it – right through winter. Just because its winter it would be easy to think that you don’t need to water your new lawn. Remember that the lawn is dormant and won’t be sending any roots into your top soil till spring. This means that it can still dry out reasonably quickly. It’s not a big deal because it will usually rain enough to keep the lawn happy but it’s something to keep your eye on just in case there is a dry spell.

What to expect. The reality is that your lawn is going to sit there (quite happily) all winter doing nothing in the establishment department. You’ll still see the join lines all winter and you’ll have very little root activity meaning the turf sod won’t root in till spring. Don’t be surprised or concerned by this.

The exception…. The exception to this rule is laying lawn in frosty hills areas during winter. This is something that I would avoid due to the extreme cold nature of those areas.

If you’re in a position where you are considering laying lawn during the winter months you’re probably just looking for ways to make that muddy area look good, or to reduce water erosion or stop mud being tracked into the house. In our experience, Adelaide winter weather won’t kill your lawn, so although it’s not the best time to do it, it can be done with confidence knowing it will establish properly when spring arrives.


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