Warm up to winter gardening
Don’t wait until spring to get busy outdoors, writes Catherine Nikas-Boulos
n w rain and dew, stick together, and form a thick layer that will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases,” says Melissa. “These leaves can be composted.”
Gardening is not just about keeping your home looking pretty, but staying active in the garden in winter is good for the soul too. She explains that gardening is “good for the mind and staying active can help reduce stress and anxiety levels”.
agrees that lawns “get hammered” in winter. The horticulturist and Victa ambassador (inset, below) says a post-winter lawn can look like a disaster area unless you get busy beforehand. Start by attending to weeds. “Many weeds are annuals and just like the lovely bloomer bloomers you plant in your garden or pots they make merry for a short tim time,” he says. “As your lawn is near dormant, these fast-growing weeds can leave you with dead spots come spring through cutting off sunlight that is already in short s supply in winter.” Chances are the weeds will be l lush and green and stand taller t than your lawn. At this point, manual re removal with a weeding tool is the most effective option. If you decide to take a c chemical approach the first trick is to identify the w weeds so you can decide on the best treatment. ““Just bear in mind that even quality selective herb herbicides appropriately applied can cause your lawn a lot o of stress in winter so use herbicides as a last resort.”
Food for thought
If you did the right thing and fed your lawn in early autumn then it should be tolerating the cold conditions well right now, says Adam.
“Whether you fed or not, you can still give it a helping hand, not by feeding your lawn, but your soil.”
Keeping soil microorganisms nourished can improve a lawn’s resilience, so he recommends applying something like a hose-on seaweed or organically fortified product.
Also, it’s important to do more than trim your grass in winter. Pick up bits and pieces such as twigs and leaves that can reduce sunlight getting through.