Gardening Tips with Charlie Albone


How to maintain your lawn

The biggest mistake you can make making during the Winter months is to neglect your lawn. One of the great things about winter is that you won’t have to water your lawn as often, if at all. That’s not to say that your lawn will take care of itself, however. With Winter comes those pesky weeds which will quickly grow out of control if left to run wild. Winter’s a good time to spray them; if you allow them to seed, they will return an even bigger problem next winter! Be sure trim them back using your grass trimmer beforehand.

It is also normal for your lawn to lose some colour during the cooler months, particularly those areas more exposed to the elements, such as your nature strip. The degree of colour loss will depend on your climate, and the aspect of your lawn. Try not to worry too much; it may be cold, but spring will be here before you know it!

I still recommend mowing your lawn through the cooler months, every 2-4 weeks should be sufficient. However, its important to raise the height of your mower. We want to keep our grass blades slightly longer at this time of year, as the more surface area available, the better the absorption of sunlight and nutrients. Also, a longer lawn will also do a better job at blocking weeds – believe it or not! Once the warmer weather rolls around, slowly the reduce the height of your mower to bring it back down to a shorter length. Don’t do this in one go, as you’ll scalp your lawn!

Compaction can become an issue through the cooler months, particularly if you reside in an area prone to heavy rainfall. This occurs in high traffic areas where your soil is essentially compacted from foot traffic. If you have had a lot of rain, avoid using your lawn too much, and avoid parking on grassed areas if you can. If you do experience compaction during winter, lightly aerating your soil will loosen it up allowing air flow and sunlight to get to the root zone.

Winter is a good time to inspect your blades. Dull or uneven blades can wreak havoc on your lawn, particularly in spring when you’re mowing every weekend. We don’t recommend sharpening mower blades as there is no way to effectively do this evenly. Therefore, we recommend replacing your blades when required, which your STIHL Dealer will be more than happy to help you with. Check out the post on the impact of dull lawn mower blades.

Winter is a good opportunity to give all of your tools a bit of TLC. Check out my post on winter tool maintenance to get started.

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