What an unpredictable winter we’re having this year. Regular readers will know we’ve been blogging about both frost and waterlogging over the past couple of weeks, and the overall mild nature of the season so far (down south, at least) is making some of our clients ask if they should start mowing their lawns again. As we’ve said before, our mowing mantra in the autumn is “If the grass is growing, keep on mowing”, and the same is very much true now we’re into the winter. This mild climate will be prompting your grass to grow, and our advice is that if you’re able to give it a cut, please do. You’ll be helping it no end, in a number of ways, and you’ll be giving it a gentle kickstart as we head towards spring. Be careful to keep the height of the cut in check, so it’s not too long and not too short, and avoid mowing when the lawn is too wet. Averaging a cut once a month at this time will be doing it a lot of good. The benefits of cutting your lawn in winter include enabling better airflow around the grass plants which make up the lawn and, particularly on those bright, crisp, sunny days, properly clipped grass will lessen the shade which is cast across the blades by the low sun. Those grass plants will make the most of every last drop of sunlight you can give them!
On the downside, there are a few points to bear in mind if you’re thinking about mowing the lawn at this time of year;
GARDEN MACHINERY AND HUMAN FEET ON A WET LAWN
Wherever possible, try to avoid walking on a wet lawn as you will be compacting it. This stores up trouble for later in the year, as the compaction will result in your grass being patchy. As a rule of thumb, if your lawn sinks underfoot as you walk on it, it’s too wet to mow. The damage caused by human footfall on a wet lawn pales into insignificance though, when compared to what your lawn mower will do. Not only will the soil and grass be mutilated, but your mower clogged with grass too. These clippings will wait for the most awkward moment to throw themselves off your machine, falling in clumps which cover the lawn and stifle its growth. In extreme cases, this can even kill off a lawn altogether.
Overall, the pros of mowing in wintertime outweigh the cons so if you are able to cut your lawn, ideally at monthly intervals, you will be making an investment in its long-term health and wellbeing. By the time you read this, of course, there’s every chance we’ll have had a cold snap and the country will have ground to halt under a couple of feet of snow! Let’s hope not, but if it means we have to write another blog post about the perils of snowy lawns at least it means we’ll have completed the whole sorry set of seasonal situations!