The Final Mow: How to Prepare Your Grass for Winter

It’s the question on everyone’s mind at this time of year.

When should I mow the grass for the final time?

Well, the answer can be quite complicated but there’s one simple rule to stick to.

That is, to leave the lawn slightly longer during the Winter so that it can stay strong during the battering it might receive from frost, wind and rain.

While the length will usually depend on the type of grass seed you use, there’s a general rule that you should leave it approximately 2.5-3 inches long.

That could mean mowing wet grass as you come to the end of the season. So, here are a couple of tips for that.

Mowing in wet weather during Autumn

When you’re mowing in wet weather, try to take as much water off the surface as possible before you run the mower over it. That can be done with either a broom or a lawn leveller, if you have one.

Always clean the mower after mowing. A clean mower at the end of the season means a quality mower at the start of the following season.

Now that’s the mowing side sorted, here are a few things you can do to make sure your lawn stays in tip-top condition as you approach the following Spring.

Overseed the lawn

Overseed the lawn with grass seed in the Autumn will mean it has plenty of time to establish itself before the harshest months set in.

What’s more, early Autumn provides the perfect germination conditions for grass seed to germinate. A bit of sun, some rain and nice warm temperatures at the middle of the afternoon.

If you’re located further north, just be careful not to get caught out by early frost – as this can prevent the seed from germinating.

So, the first thing to do, is apply grass seed at approximately 25g per m2, which is know as the common overseeding rate.

Apply Autumn AND Winter Lawn Feed

Applying both an Autumn Feed and a Winter Feed is essential if you want to help the grass survive during the harsher months that lie ahead. So in around September October, do your Autumn Feeding.

Then, in around Jan or Feb, do your Winter Feeding.

There are significant differences in the Autumn and Winter feeds when compared to Spring and Summer feeds. For example, in Spring and Summer the grass needs more nitrogen, whereas in Autumn and Winter, the grass needs more phosphate and potassium.

So, there are companies who have perfected the formulae for you to buy and apply at the right time of year.

Apply a pH modifier  (if absolutely necessary)

Applying a pH modifier should only be done if it’s absolutely essential. If you have decided to modify you pH, then Autumn is the perfect time to do it.

Usually pH modifiers come in the form of lime or 100% organic Calcified Seaweed. Lime can be applied in the Autumn so that it has time to settle into the ground during the Winter before the warmer weather sets in to help the grass grow early the following year.

Lowering the pH may also be necessary if it’s already too alkaline. Autumn is once again a good tie of  year to lower the pH if it’s necessary too.

Continue to maintain

One of the best things you can do during the Autumn & Winter is to keep on top of the maintenance tasks, These tasks will include removing falling leaves, removing mushrooms or even sweeping away snow.

By keeping on top of your maintenance during Autumn & Winter, you’ll be able to make sure the lawn is looking in great shape come the following Spring.