In many parts of Australia, lawn lovers are incredibly lucky that mild winters make it much easier to take care of a lawn. However, there are several winter lawn care tips that you should master in order to keep your turf looking healthy year-round.
Continue mowing, but set your blade higher.
Regular mowing is still a must during the cooler winter months. While you should mow at least every week in the summer, you can get away with once or twice a month during the winter depending on your location. Try not to mow when the lawn is wet or damp and set your blade a little higher to keep grass healthier. As yard duties slow at this time of year do not forget to show your machinery some love, servicing your equipment during this period will have them fit and fighting ready to tackle the growth season ahead. (Do not forget to change your mowing blades.)
Alter your irrigation pattern.
Moisture is likely to be retained for longer by your soil during winter than in the summer, and the plant will take up less water as well, so try not to over-irrigate your lawn during the winter. Adjust any automatic sprinklers, and be sure to water early in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, to prevent fungal growth.
Aerate and amend your lawn.
This is especially true if you have clay soil, but make sure you aerate your lawn just prior to winter. This is a great time to do it, as the soil will not become overly dry, but essential because soils that are overly compacted and hard and not allow roots to breathe. It is a good idea to apply soil amendments such as gypsum or lime during this process. Conducting a soil test will guide your amendment decisions.
Now is the time to put your best foot forward. Weed control now will allow you to come into the growing season in the best possible position. Winter typically is when we see an abundance of ‘broadleaf’ weeds due to the lack of sunlight in certain areas and soil temperatures supporting germination. Most of these are easily controlled with a herbicide, however ensure the herbicide you select is safe for your variety. This is where pre-emergent herbicides at this time of year play a pivotal role in lawn care as they prevent the weeds appearing in the first place, keeping your lawn weed free through winter and in a dense condition ready for spring.
(Note if you are looking to sow seed during this period you will not want to be making any applications of pre-emergent herbicides.)
As we have spent the last 6 months or so attending to our lawns needs you may have found the surrounding trees/shrubs have grown a little more and are now impacting the amount of direct sunlight that your lawn receives. By pruning shrubs and trimming your over hanging trees you can in most instances decrease shade levels and increase plant photosynthesis. Let us face it you cannot beat mother nature and the more we can do to increase the lawns health during the shorter sunlight days the better off it will be.
Fertilise using TurfMaxx prior to the onset of cold temperatures and the onset of dormancy in some locations, will allow the plant to draw on valuable nutrients available and secure its health throughout this period. Foliar applied liquid fertilisers like GreenXtra are just as important at this time of year as they not only support your granular application, but they will also enhance overall winter colour helping to mask the effects of dormancy and frost damage.
Oxafert in autumn will provide not only key plant nutrients from the last granular application before winter, but also contains a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed emergence. This can be supported in the following months by biostimulants (eg. Kelp-ER), foliar applied fertilisers that include just enough nitrogen to keep the turf going and micronutrients such as iron for a green-up response (eg. GreenXtra and Tracemaxx), and pigments such as Colourmaxx for maintenance of maximum colour.
Need additional help transitioning your lawn care into the next season? Visit our lawn care page for more information!