Put your lawn to bed for winter

As the evenings get darker and the soil gets colder, your lawn's growth will slow and eventually stop. All through winter, it will lay dormant, preserving energy and preparing itself for the new burst of growth in spring. It does this all by itself with no help from you but you can make things easier for it. If you prepare your lawn well for its hibernation, it will reward you will stronger, lusher growth the following spring.

The last cut

Raise the blades on your lawnmower for the last cut. If you do this, you provide a shield for the lawn against damage by snow and frost. The extra top growth you leave on may get damaged at the tips but you can take the tips off in spring, leaving you with a nice green lawn beneath. Leaving the grass a little longer like this also protects against matt forming or ground hugging weeds and moss since it reduces the light available to them.

The final feed

You can apply a final feed to your lawn during the last weeks of its growth but you must make sure you choose an autumn lawn feed. Do not use the lawn feed you have used throughout the year since this feed is designed to encourage green growth - something you don't want for winter. An autumn lawn feed will have high amounts of potash and phosphates which are designed to feed your lawn's roots, not its leaves. This means that, in spring, you will have nice, strong, thick roots ready to sprout anew. You should choose a granular autumn lawn feed that also contains moss killer if moss is a problem in your garden.

Carry out repairs

If the soil is still warm enough, you can repair worn and bare patches. For small patches, cut out the damaged lawn and apply a compost mixed with lawn seed. For larger patches, it is worthwhile buying some lawn turf.

Remove furniture and toys

Remember to take everything off the lawn that is not permanent so that you don't end up with dead patches of lawn where the light has not been able to get to it. By doing this you also stop insects from sheltering under there and attacking your lawn during the winter.

Service your lawnmower

Finally, give your lawnmower a good service before you put that away too. Remove any oil and petrol from petrol lawnmowers to stop it going off over winter and give your blades a sharpen too. It is also a good idea to disconnect the spark plugs too. For a guide to lawnmower maintenance, see our article on Simple lawnmower maintenance

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