During the winter, we know the lawn does not need to be mowed quite as often as in the spring and summer months - if at all, but why? What happens to grass and our lawns during winter to cause this?
So, “what happens to grass during winter?” - Well, the answer is pretty simple: its growth slows down due to the cold weather of winter, affecting its growing conditions. For grass seed to germinate and for already established grass to grow, soil temperature needs to be at least 8-10 degrees Celsius or higher, which winter cannot offer in the UK. Although reduced temperatures that winter brings are a major player in slowing grass growth, a variety of other factors make growing conditions for grass challenging, such as reduced sunlight and an increase in moisture.
When does grass stop growing?
In the UK, our temperature normally takes a downturn from late November, and as we move onwards through December and onto January and February, we are well aware the temperature can frequently drop below freezing! As the air temperature drops, so does the soil temperature, drastically slowing grass growth. At these times, in the heart of the winter with the harsher conditions, your lawn is dormant, hibernating like the hedgehogs, conserving its strength until the weather and temperatures improve.
When does grass start growing again?
Your lawn will start growing properly again as winter comes to a close and warmer temperatures take hold. You will begin to notice your grass come alive again, growing slowly at first, but as we approach spring and summer, there’s no stopping it. But without proper winter lawn care, your lawn might require a little boost to bring it back to full health so it grows well as spring begins. This is why it’s important to ensure your grass receives the nutrients it needs from a winter lawn feed, which helps it resist the effects of cold weather and winter lawn diseases.
How do I take care of my lawn in winter?
A winter fertiliser will feed your lawn with a boost of nutrients, which helps keep it strong and resilient throughout the winter months. Using a winter lawn treatment before cold weather arrives will strengthen it to resist winter grass diseases and recover quickly from cold snaps of weather, frost, snow and heavy footfall. Using a winter lawn food like our granular SLOW RELEASE: Autumn / Winter, our QUICK RELEASE: Autumn / Winter, or our Make it Strong liquid fertiliser in autumn will give your lawn extra protection during cold weather.
- Applying a winter lawn treatment to protect your grass against frost and winter-borne diseases.
- We recommend using either one of our granular autumn/winter fertilisers or our fast-acting liquid fertiliser. What lawn food is best will depend on which application method you prefer, how long you want the fertiliser to last and how long you have left in the season to fertilise.
Tips for looking after your grass in winter
The season for mowing grass has ended for a few months, and winter lawn care is now the priority. During winter, your lawn will not require too much maintenance, but there are still some extra steps you can take to make sure you won’t damage it further.
- Aim to have your last mow of the season before colder weather arrives. The same applies to overseeding using grass seed or when using fertiliser.
- Frost can bring the most harmful conditions for our luscious lawns to face, so once this cold weather arrives, we should take care not to walk on frozen grass as this can leave behind marks.
- Don’t sow grass seeds once you see frosts on your local forecast.
- By December, your lawn will be mostly dormant and won’t cope with mowing or fertilising at this stage – that’s why it’s better to do this before winter sets in.
- If you apply a winter lawn feed, your grass will have the strength to overcome most challenges the cold UK winter weather brings!
- Now is also a good time to consider servicing your lawn mower so it’s ready for the coming spring.
Since we’re on the topic of what happens to grass during winter
We have listed advice and tips below to help you combat what happens to grass during winter and keep your lawn in top shape over the colder months to ensure it’s growing beautifully come spring: