How do I prepare my lawn for winter?

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If you want your lawn to be back in good shape quickly in the spring, it’s essential to properly prepare it for the winter. How do you do this? What work needs to be done before winter? You will find out in this article.

Faded grass, visible cavities or molehills – these are the kinds of problems which can arise in the spring if you do not give your lawn the right winter protection. Read below about what to do in the autumn and how to prepare your lawn well before winter.

1. Use the right fertilizers

Fertilizing your lawn in the autumn will increase its resistance to the damaging effects of cold temperatures. Do not use nitrogen fertilisers as early as September – they stimulate plant growth and can therefore delay the lawn going dormant. Choose potassium and phosphorus fertilizers to help make your lawn more frost resistant

There are also special autumn lawn fertilizers on the market which are formulated to enhance the protection of the turf. Don’t forget that you should mow your lawn before each fertilizer application.

2. When and how do I make the last mowing before winter?

In our climate, the last lawn mowing before winter is usually done in the second half of October. However, if we have had a warm autumn and the forecasts do not yet predict a cold snap, you can mow the grass for the last time at the beginning of November. If winter delays it significantly and the grass has had time to grow up, the mowing will have to be repeated

It’s very important to keep the grass at the right height for the last cut – if you cut it too short, the roots can freeze during frost and if you leave it too high, fungal diseases can develop. The optimum grass height at the last mowing is 4 cm

3. Removing leaves from the lawn

It is very important to remove fallen leaves from trees in autumn. A layer of leaves shades the lawn and this has a negative effect on the lifespan of the lawn. In addition, autumn leaves left on the lawn during the winter will cause the turf to rot under the layer of snow. Regularly raking the leaves in autumn and thoroughly cleaning the lawn before winter will help it to green up quickly in spring. The raked leaves can be used as compost.

4. Liming the grass

Moss or field horsetail on your lawn? Be sure to measure the pH of the soil. It may be that the grass needs liming. The optimum lawn soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0. When it is lower, moss or field horsetail can start to grow. To prevent this, carry out a lawn liming. You can do this in the pre-winter period from February to March or in the autumn. Autumn liming is carried out from October to November. The best preparation for liming during this period will be a calcium-carbonate fertilizer

5. How to avoid molehills?

The autumn period is a time of increased mole activity. If you do not want your lawn to be full of moles in spring, you should think in advance about protecting it against intruders. You can reach for special repellents available in gardening stores or prepare home remedies to discourage moles to visit your garden. One of the proven methods is to drive stakes with bottles on them into the lawn – the bottles moved by a gust of wind will cause vibrations in the soil, unpleasant for moles. This simple mechanism will help you effectively discourage uninvited guests.

Main photo: Sergei A/

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