Lessons learnt from Winter
Author: Stefan Palm Date Posted: 25 August 2021
With Winter having run its course, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look back over the last three months and see the common issues. What did we learn, and what can we do better for next Winter?
Throughout Winter, we get hundreds of people coming into our store asking us to help solve problems. We also have the privilege of going out to customers homes to help resolve more complicated issues. We’ve seen some common themes come up - with some planning, many of these ails can be avoided next Winter, leading to healthier lawns to enjoy.
Let me take you through some of them and give you some helpful hints. As you’ll come to see, many of these issues can be prepared for in the Autumn so that their effects are not so severe in the Winter.
Interestingly, shade is a significant factor in how lawns degrade over Winter. With the sun lower in the sky, areas that did receive full sun no longer do, which can be a problem for lawns like Kikuyu and couch. Even shade-tolerant lawns like buffalo can have issues here. One of the most significant issues with shade is that it creates ideal conditions for moss and algae to grow. Shade, accompanied by moss and algae, were huge culprits of making lawns look poor this year, compounded by the extra rain we had. If you were to do one thing next Winter – monitor your lawn for moss and algae and treat it when you see it. For more information, read our blog on moss and algae control in lawns
- Have a look and see if there are any opportunities to increase the level of sun through Winter. While shade created by buildings and fences can’t be affected, you may be able to lift the canopy on a tree or remove some unnecessary vegetation.
- Be aware that shade creates ideal conditions for moss and algae to thrive. Be prepared to tackle that when you see it. Typically, two applications of a moss killer called Wet and Forget would be enough to keep it at bay for the whole Winter.
Water & Drainage
We’ve had a lot of water this Winter – certainly more than we’ve had for a while. When water can’t drain away properly from your lawn, it will suffer. Most consultation visits we did this Winter had elements of drainage issues. When water sits in the soil for too long, it starves the lawn of oxygen, which will kill the lawn in time. For more information read our blog on managing drainage issues in lawns
- Take some photos of the waterlogged areas so that you remember where they are when it comes time to deal with them. Plan some time to correct drainage issues before next Winter arrives
- Coring and top-dressing help, as does installing drains to divert the water away
Many lawns get dominated by weeds during the Winter because they are not deal with properly during the Summer and Autumn. Common weeds like winter grass and broadleaf lie and wait in the form of seed in the soil until conditions are perfect for germinating and thriving. Because most lawns are dormant during Winter, they can dominate with little competition making for an unattractive lawn. Most of this can be avoided with the timed application of a pre-emergent herbicide called Spartan. Applied during March, it will stop most winter weeds from germinating, leading to a clean winter lawn. For more information read our blog on pre-emergent weed control in lawns
- Apply Spartan any time in March for the control of winter grass and broadleaf weeds.
Simply said, these were the most common issues we noticed this Winter, and I think regular and high amounts of rain compounded them. There are others, however, these were the ones we were dealing with the most. If you were unhappy with the performance of your lawn this Winter, have a go at dealing with the above. You might be surprised at the difference it makes. As always, if you have any issues you want help solving, give us a call on 0882980555 or send an email to email@example.com.