With summer well and truly over and colder temperatures starting to set in across the country, it’s almost time to put your lawnmower away as grass stops growing for another year.
However, a change of season means a change in routine, so while you probably won’t be mowing your lawn over the winter months, there are some other steps you’ll need to take if you want a healthy garden come spring.
So when does grass stop growing and how should you go about looking after your lawn this winter?
READ MORE: Which vegetables can you grow in autumn?
Here’s our expert guide, courtesy of Kendall Platt, The Mindful Gardening Coach.
When does grass stop growing?
If you feel like you’ve been constantly mowing your lawn this summer, don’t worry, because the end is in sight.
“Grass starts to go dormant in November,” confirms Kendall. “You can store your mower away after the last cut at the end of October and get it out again once the grass begins to grow again in March once the weather warms.”
Expert tips for looking after your lawn this autumn
Just because your grass will have stopped growing, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do between now and next spring.
Here’s what you should be doing to keep your garden happy over the coming months.
1. Scarify your lawn – annually
Kendall recommends scarifying your lawn once a year in September or October whilst the grass is still actively growing in order to give your lawn a chance to recover in time for the winter.
To do this, use a hollow tine rake (a rake with thin metal prongs) to remove any compacted dead grass (known as thatch) that may have settled on top of the soil.
“Move the rake back and forward as if you were vacuuming until you begin to see the soil surrounding the living grass,” Kendall explains. “This will remove any moss that has started to grow in the lawn.”
If you have a lot of moss on your lawn, Kendall recommends treating the lawn two to three weeks before scarifying to aid removal.
2. Aerate your lawn – every three years
Aerating your lawn — introducing air to the roots of the grass — is another essential step in any autumn lawn care plan.
To do this, sink a garden fork into your patch of grass about 10cm deep and wiggle it back and forth to allow air to reach the roots of the grass.
Kendall advises doing this “every 15cm or so across the surface of your lawn, paying special attention to any compacted areas.”
You should then follow with top dressing your lawn, adding a mix of topsoil, sharp sand and organic compost to the lawn, taking care to brush it into the holes you made in the previous step.
“This will deliver much-needed nutrients to the grassroots encouraging them to grow stronger and the grass to grow thicker,” Kendall says.
3. Easy winter lawn care
When it comes to helping your lawn stay healthy during the winter months, an easy trick is to simply keep off your grass as much as possible.
“Try to avoid walking on your lawn when it’s really wet,” says Kendall. “This damages the structure of the soil and makes it harder for the grass to grow and gives moss and weeds the chance to set in.”
For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.