Winter 2023-2024 Lawn Diary
The Winter in a Nutshell
This is the last Lawn Diary until March next year: From December to the end of February there is little to do as growth will have all but stopped and frosts will become quite frequent. However, if you need to work off those Christmas calories start treating the moss early to control its growth by using liquid applications of our Green-Up Ferrous Sulphate, MossOff or Winter Green granular fertiliser which contains the active ingredient ferrous sulphate.
In addition consider the use of Seaweed Bio-Bloom for it's medication and health promoting properties. If you feel your lawn is stressed or suffering from winter drought, water logging or disease then seaweed can help. It's also great to assist the grass over winter even in good conditions. Some guidance on use here.
Main jobs this winter:
- Clearing leaves
- Applications of Moss control products
- A winter feed in mild or wet winter conditions
From here on in, frost is your lawns main enemy but only if you walk on the frosty grass. Do try and keep off because as soon as the frost goes you'll be left with your foot prints etched into the lawn. If it snows, DON'T pile snow on the lawn from the path, it'll bring on disease! And if you have enough snow for snowmen and snowwomen, distribute the snow over the lawn once the kids have finished with them; dead snow-people can leave a nasty mark in the lawn right through into spring if left standing.
Last order date to get items before Christmas is midnight on Tuesday 19th December and phone/email support will continue until the 21st. We are all back, heavier and poorer on Tuesday 2nd January.
Please visit the most import and current seasonal articles here
Apart from a very high topping to tidy up if conditions are dry you have finished with the mower for the year.
If you do fancy trimming the tops and the cooler wet weather has caused a resurgence of moss raise the mowing height so that at least 1/2" of grass shows above the moss after grass cutting.
If you no longer think you'll need the mower give it a good clean and a service. This is quite easy to do. See the section on mower Cleaning & Maintenance. The mower can be useful for sucking up leaves so if leaves are a problem service the machine in January. The mower service centers are usually quiet now so it's also a good time to get a service that won't be rushed - may even get a discount!
You should be done with autumn fertilising by now but if you want some extra ‘green' in the lawn consider a fertiliser containing low nitrogen but with good amounts of potassium and iron anytime from now till spring. Our WINTER GREEN is just such a fertiliser and should be used over winter particularly if you've had a mild and/or wet autumn which will have used or leached out a lot of the nutrients. To get the most from it apply it during a mild spell anytime over the winter period.
It will also kill off any moss in the lawn which may also be a problem after the wet end to 2020. Apply the Winter Green at the highest application rate to achieve good moss control.
If fertiliser levels are good but you want to give the lawn a green up try one or two medium applications of Ferrous Sulphate. This is also useful to reduce worm activity which may be evident in the cooler wetter conditions and also incorporates nicely into your moss control programme.
Wait until spring
Many of you will be experiencing major problems with moss in the lawn now grass growth has just about stopped. For now you're too late to do doing anything as radical as scarifying as you'll be left with a much disfigured lawn.
Taking a gentler approach may well pay dividends however. Depending on how severe your moss problem is apply Ferrous Sulphate a.k.a Soluble Iron at about 4 to 5g per square metre once or twice (maximum three times) over the winter period. This will blacken the top layer thus blocking light from getting to the moss deeper down so temporarily halting growth. Alternatively one application of Winter Green over winter will have the same effect and can be supplemented with a Ferrous Sulphate application if moss is rampant due to a mild and/or wet winter. In spring you will have far less moss to rake out and many of you may not even need to do that!
Shouldn't be needed
Aeration is fantastic for the lawn at any time but with the potential for frost heave keep the aeration to spiking only. The ideal product that won't disrupt the lawn surface are aerator sandals or a rolling aerator.
Wait until spring
Make sure conditions are not too wet, soft, frozen or frosty before working on the lawn. If the surface is firm then re-cutting edges is in order plus any repairs using turf.
Leaves: Regular collection is very important for grass health and to reduce moss, disease and worm activity.
Disease: It is only likely that fusarium or snow mould will be present at this time of year though it usually goes unnoticed by all but the most addicted Lawnsmith! Fusarium can be a sign of poor turf health, high thatch levels, poor air circulation, compaction or just persistent wet conditions. If you do experience an attack it is usually of little consequence in a domestic lawn. Do look for possible causes though as you can resolve any problems ready for next year.
Worms: Though it's best to treat for worms at the first sign, they will continue to surface throughout the winter and produce muddy casts that cause mowing problems in the spring. Worms are beneficial in that they digest organic matter providing nutrients and enriching the soil. They also do some valuable aeration. A lawn with worms is generally far healthier than one without. Though only moderately reliable we still feel Ferrous Sulphate is the most cost effective and beneficial way to reduce worm casting.
Wait until spring.
Wait until spring
If you've been waiting for cooler wetter weather for turfing them the time is ripe from now into March at least.
Thanks for visiting the Lawn Diary
Have a great month and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year