When to stop cutting the grass for winter – ‘will damage it’

How to remove weeds and moss from lawns

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A gardener’s mowing regime is an important part of maintaining a healthy lawn. However, with winter just around the corner, it is important to not stress the lawn out too much by over-mowing it. While the frequency of mowing does depend on how quickly the grass blades are growing and weather conditions, an expert has shared when Britons should generally “leave the mowing”.

Samantha Jones, gardening expert at MyJobQuote, explained: “Lawns can suffer over winter, especially with harsh weather and fewer daylight hours.

“However, by carrying out a few of these simple steps, you can help maintain your lawn’s health. First, you should take time during the autumn to prepare your lawn for winter.

“When mowing, don’t cut the grass as short, so the roots are protected. Give the lawn a good raking to remove moss, leaves and dead material.

“Then, use your fork to spike holes at regular intervals across the lawn. This will add drainage for those extra wet days and prevent water logging.”

The expert also recommended feeding the lawn before winter arrives to help provide it with the extra nutrients it’ll need to survive winter. Fertilisers can help to fight disease which is more common when the weather is colder. 

But when should gardeners stop mowing their lawns? According to Samantha, Britons can “leave the mowing” altogether as soon as winter arrives.

This means the lawn should be left between the months of December and March, depending on the weather and how fast the lawn is growing.

Grass will continue to grow in temperatures above 5C, so if the weather remains mild it may be necessary to use the mower to keep the grass looking good.

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Gardeners should ensure the cut is higher in the winter months compared to the summer to prevent turf stress.

The expert continued: “Grass doesn’t tend to grow during this time of year and cutting wet or frosty grass will damage it.”

To help it survive the colder months, Britons should also avoid walking on it because it could actually cause it huge damage.

Samantha noted: “If more leaves or moss have appeared on your lawn, you can continue to rake these away. Pick a dry day and use a long-handled rake to reduce your impact on the lawn.

“Lastly, keep an eye out for problems such as algae and fungal diseases. Similarly, brown or mouldy-looking patches could be a sign of trouble. If you spot something that concerns you, contact a professional for some advice.”

Algae can be a problem on lawns where there is poor drainage, excessive shade, or under the drip-line trees and is best taken care of by changing the growing conditions.

This means improving the drainage, reducing the amount of water an area receives or pruning low growing foliage to allow the area to get light.

Chris McIlroy, lawn expert at www.thegrasspeople.com, has also provided tips on keeping the grass healthy during the winter months.

He explained: “Moss is often found in moist and shaded areas and can spread very quickly. Treat by spreading a chemical such as Feed, Weed and Moss Killer across the affected areas of the lawn and within two weeks the weed will have died and turned black. 

“Remove the dead moss by vigorously raking the surface with a spring-tined lawn rake. Consider future-proofing your lawn from further moss by removing the sun blockers such as trimming hedges or by improving drainage.”

Gardeners should also continue to remove any debris fallen onto the grass such as old grass clippings, leaves and other layers of thatch. They often cover the surface of the lawn so can easily be seen.

According to Chris, if these are left, it will encourage weeds and diseases to set in because the soil will be “clogged”. 

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