Repairing Your Lawn After Winter
Winter can be a difficult time for keeping the lawn lush and green, chances are – this winter has had a negative effect on your garden. Have no fear! There is plenty of time to get it the garden looking its best before the summer comes once again. Here are some of the most common types of lawn damage caused during the winter that may have been inflicted in your garden and how to fix them.
Lawn thinned out:
During the winter months, there are less daylight hours, and in the UK, winters tend to be cloudy and very damp, with not many sunny days to offer and less sunlight means some areas of grass will inevitably begin to die out, especially those in shaded areas. Heavy rainfall can result in some areas becoming waterlogged, which will drown the grass.
To fill in the patches in the lawn, you can then over-seed the lawn, paying attention to the patches where the grass has thinned. Ideally, temperatures need to be consistently over 13 degrees Celsius for seed to germinate. The seed should germinate after 2-3 weeks.
If your lawn is waterlogged, scarify it by 'poking' holes into the ground with a simple garden pitch fork. This will help drainage and increase oxygen and mineral level of your soil.
Also known as Fusarium Patch Disease, this can develop in lawns after a period of cool and wet weather. It also develops under layers of snow on your lawn, hence the name.
Snow Mould is easy to spot, as it has a very distinctive appearance. It looks like strands of cotton wool lying or spider webs on the grass. Each area will be a rough circle in shape and the grass within the area will begin to look brown.
To treat this, a lawn disease control product will be needed, you’d be able to buy this from most garden centres.
Red Thread, like Snow Mould is caused by the fungi that is naturally present in the lawn. Red Thread appears in the lawn as patches of pink / red grasses and although it kills the grass blades, it shouldn’t harm the roots if treated correctly.
Regular feeding of the lawn will help reduce the chance of Red Thread reappearing in your lawn by keeping the grass healthy.
You can treat Red Thread with a lawn disease control product, or often, a fertiliser high in Nitrogen will help remedy the problem. High Nitrogen lawn feeds encourage grass growth, meaning healthy grass will begin to grow from the roots and the disease can then be mowed out.
How to prevent your lawn dying in the winter
- Make sure any leaves / grass clippings are removed, these can smother the lawn, resulting in moss, thatch and lawn diseases.
- Don’t leave the grass length too long over the winter. It is not recommended to mow the lawn in temperatures under 5 degrees Celsius, and long grass left over the winter can cause the grass to smother itself, leaving it susceptible to disease. It is recommended you reduce your mower height by 1 to 2 notches for the last couple of cuts before the winter.
- Keep off the lawn. If the lawn is frosty or covered in snow, walking on it will damage or kill the grass blades. This shouldn’t kill the grass roots, and the lawn will repair itself when the temperatures increase, but you’ll be left with unsightly black footprints on your lawn for a little while.
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