How To Bring Grass Back After Winter: The 6 Step Process
Our lawns, in fact our entire gardens, can be left in a sorry state after the long and sometimes harsh winters we get in this country.
Snow, wind, rain and frosts can all mean that your grass is left soggy with brown and dead patches and places where mud is covering what is left of the lush green grass you had last summer. So what can be done to bring your grass back to life after winter and how do you prevent such issues occurring in the future?
A lovely looking garden is a fantastic way to improve the way that your home looks on the outside; in fact, it can improve the value of your home by as much as 10% or even more.
However, if your grass has been ruined by the weather and no longer matches with the new resin bound driveway, planted beds and mature trees, you will have a garden that no longer looks the part and one that you will need to put some effort into .
There are several steps to reviving your grass as we move into spring and by the summer months you can expect it to look lush and full once more, and hopefully protected for the future too.
Step 1: Bide Your Time
As much as you will want to get stuck in and have your lawn looking fabulous in no time, it does in fact make sense to wait until the lawn has absorbed as much of the water and puddles as possible.
You will simply ruin it further if you set about trying to repair it while it is still a soggy and muddy mess.
In almost all cases, the water will eventually absorb into the ground, but you can help it along by brushing the water into drains, or towards the verge borders. But try hard not to do more damage as you do this. The ground will be muddy, and you might find you sink into it.
Step 2: Clear The Lawn
Once it has dried out it is time to remove all of the debris that will have built up over the last few months. This will include leaves, branches and twigs and anything else that will affect new growth.
You should also check for new weeds that may be coming through and remove these as best as possible. At this point you can check for areas where the grass has died. You should remove this grass as well as any plants that have died over the winter.
This is also a good time to cut back any overhanging trees or bushes. These will tend to shade the new growing grass, and can be the cause of bald patches in your lawn. The aim at this point is to have a blank canvas of a garden so that you can see exactly what damage needs fixing.
Step 3: Test Your Lawn
A heavy winter can result in many of the nutrients in your lawn being washed away. One way around this is to test your lawn using a soil testing kit.
These look at the Ph levels and determine what kinds of fertilisers you might want to add to the soil to bring it back to life.
Step 4: Aerate Your Lawn
While the ground is still soft it makes sense to using an aerator to poke holes in the surface of the lawn to let air into it. This can be done with a simple garden fork, but a proper machine will go deeper and get to the areas that really need to be exposed to the air.
This will mean that throughout the next weeks and months water will absorb more easily, and the ground will be more likely to absorb the fertilisers and feeds that you add.
Step 5: Reseed Your Lawn
After a couple of weeks you will start to see if there are places on your lawn where grass is still refusing to grow. This is when you need to reseed or lay down turf.
Make sure that the ground is prepared correctly and that you are matching with the right type of grass or the patch will look different from the rest. Make sure that no one walks on this area and that it is well watered while it beds down. It will take a few weeks of mowing for the new section to blend with the old.
Step 6: Cut Carefully
Don’t be in a rush to cut your grass for the first time in the spring. You need to make sure that the grass is both dry enough and long enough. The first few times with the mower should be seen as just a trim. In other words, don’t cut it really short. Take a little and often approach.
This will ensure that you are not damaging any new growth as it comes through and the lush grass will have a chance to become stronger.
Looking After Your Lawn: Long-Term Maintenance Tips
While a certain amount of winter damage is inevitable, it is still possible to protect your lawn from the worst of it and to prevent the huge job of restoring it come the spring. These hints and tips will help you to have a patch of lawn that can withstand even the harshest of winters:
● Try to avoid walking on the grass if it has been wet or frosty. The grass will be easily damaged, and the ground could get more muddy than it needs to be. This damage may not repair itself until the spring, and the grass could have died by then.
● Your grass will continue to grow as long as the temperature is above 5 degrees. This means that during the early winter it may still require mowing. Try to avoid it if you can, but if it is really getting out of hand you should only mow on a dry day and never down to ground level. Only cut it to 25% of the length you would choose in the summer.
● Try to remove leaves in the Autumn on a regular basis. Leaves that are left covering grass will trap moisture and disease, and you could be left with a nasty brown patch. Choose a dry day to rake up fallen leaves.
● Continue to aerate your lawn throughout the winter to improve drainage and move air through to the roots of the grass.
● Think about laying pathways and driveways to protect your grass. Resin bound surfacing is the perfect solution, as it is water permeable and will not cause puddles. It is also perfect for placing next to green grass, as the it can be laid in any colour you choose. Walking on a paved area in the winter will protect your grass.
Your garden doesn’t have to be a wasteland during the Winter, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard work to bring your grass back to life in the Summer. Just treat it with respect and avoid walking on it as much as possible during the Winter, and it will reward you in the Spring.