‘No harm’ in mowing grass in December – ‘favourable’ conditions

Bunnings show how to remove weeds and moss from your lawn

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Garden lawns are easily ignored over the winter months due to frost, cooler temperatures, torrential rain and snow. However, with temperatures being warmer than usual, lawns may still be growing which means they need care and attention.

With this in mind, Chris McIlroy, a lawn expert at The Grass People, has shared three gardening jobs gardeners can be doing in December and five tips on how to care for grass in the cold months.

Never walk on a frosty lawn

Walking on a frosty lawn may sound and feel satisfying, however, walking on frozen grass can damage the grass as the blades can split and break.

That means when the grass wakes up in spring, it can look yellow, brown or dead. The expert suggested avoiding walking on the grass until the frost has thawed completely.

Still mow your lawn (if needed)

Any temperatures below 5°C and lawns should stop growing so mowing during the winter months isn’t needed.

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Chris said: “However, some areas in the UK see temperatures higher than this during the winter months so grass generally continues to grow, but at a very slow pace.

“You should only mow your lawn if it’s necessary and the conditions are favourable. Therefore, it is not advised to mow if there is a heavy frost or snow expected or if the ground is very wet.

“So if your grass is looking overgrown, and the weather is dry and above 5°C there’s no harm in getting the mower out.”

Sweep fallen leaves

One of the main jobs gardeners need to do during the winter months is periodically sweeping up fallen leaves and debris using a light rake or a brush.

Wet leaves on lawns may not appear to be much of a problem but that extra layer of moisture can saturate the grass underneath which can lead to lawn diseases, and fusarium patch, also known as “snow mould”.

Instead, the leaves can be used as mulch around trees and other plants to help retain moisture for dryer days. Alternatively, gardeners can sweep the leaves to the side of lawns for wildlife.

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Lawn mower maintenance

Chris said: “Blunt blades and faulty parts can stop you in your tracks when your grass is in desperate need of a trim come spring.

“Mowing your lawn with blunt blades can damage your grass resulting in a yellow, brown and raggedy-looking lawn.

“In some cases, it can even pull up portions of your grass as it pulls on the entire plant instead of slicing through cleanly.

“Servicing your mower now will ensure that it is ready to go as soon as the time for your first mow of the season comes around.”

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Don’t build a snowman on your lawn

When it snows, building a snowman on the lawn is one of the first things children want to do.

However, the experts advised “avoiding” a snowman on lawns as a build-up of heavy snow on one part of the grass will create the perfect conditions for fungal diseases like fusarium Patch to develop.

Snow mould thrives in wet, damp and compacted conditions causing the grass to become yellow or brown.

General December gardening jobs

Put fresh water out for birds during frost

Frozen water is a challenge for birds as they struggle to find places to drink.

Although birds can digest snow, they have to use extra energy to warm it up so placing water out for them makes their lives easier.

Bring equipment indoors

Not moving your gardening equipment in winter can be a costly mistake come spring. Make sure all your tools and equipment are stored in a dry, cool place to avoid rust and other damage.

Clear out your shed

To save yourself some time next year, clear out your shed and organise it this winter. Not only can this help make sure all your tools are stored properly to avoid damage, but it will also help in spring when you need to start sowing seeds and gardening more.

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