9 Cold Weather Tips for Winter Lawn Care

Winter in New Zealand often has us counting down to summer. Although we may spend less time outdoors, keeping an eye on your lawn could make the difference between a healthy lawn and one that needs extra attention by spring. To ensure your lawn stays healthy year-round, check out these top nine tips on winter lawn care and create a maintenance plan of your own.

Why winter lawn care matters

Whether based in the chilliest parts of Christchurch or enjoying a milder climate up in Warkworth, the colder months can be tough on your lawn. Winter weather means less sunlight, colder and wetter conditions, and nearly twice as much rain as summer if you’re up north. There’s nothing worse than maintaining a perfect lawn over the warmer months only to encounter problems such as fungal disease or weeds as we exit autumn. Preparing a lawn care plan can help you identify what the problem is and how to approach it.

1. Tidy up leaves

Begin your winter lawn care routine by clearing your lawn of leaves. Leaves that build up over autumn can be a barrier to the grass underneath. Maintenance will become more difficult when your lawn is deprived of what it needs to thrive, such as water and sunlight. Keeping your lawn clear also helps prevent pests or fungal diseases from settling in. A professional green waste removal service can make this easy.


2. Continue mowing

Although grass grows slower in winter, mowing remains crucial for lawn care. Mowing helps prevent fungal diseases and weed growth, which your lawn is more susceptible to during this season. It also promotes healthy grass growth by maintaining ideal conditions. Setting a higher mower height is conducive to growth and maximising photosynthesis during the shorter days when sunlight is limited.

3. Manage weeds

Winter may slow down your lawn’s growth, but the colder, wetter weather creates an ideal environment for weeds to proliferate. Physically removing weeds remains a reliable option, but creating a strategy based on the type of weed you are experiencing can help you save time and energy. Broad-leafed weeds such as clover, dandelions, and Onehunga weeds that do particularly well during winter are manageable through herbicides that target these without compromising the health of your lawn.

4. Use lime

Winter is the perfect time to check your soil’s pH level and adjust for acidity. Use a soil testing kit to determine if the pH is below six. If it is, apply lime to balance out the acidity. The earlier you check, the sooner you can apply it and keep the soil healthy while giving it time to gradually change its pH level.

5. Feed your lawn

With the exception of homes based in climates that experience regular low temperatures and heavy frost or snow, your lawn will most likely still grow during winter. Once you have established a routine for keeping your lawn tidy, using lawn feed, compost, or fertiliser will ensure it is ready for spring and thrives during winter. These products can be an appropriate source of nutrients to enable consistent growth and health, depending on your goals. For faster growth, choose a liquid fertiliser in concentrate form, which can be applied from a watering can once mixed with water per the instructions.

6. Aerate the soil

A wet lawn where the soil becomes compacted is common to see during winter. Although a soggy lawn is inevitable, spiking and aerating your lawn will improve its ability to drain water and ensure the soil can access the nutrients it needs. Greater exposure to oxygen facilitates greater root and grass growth. Breaking up and aerating most soil, whether by a spike aerator or a rake, leaves your lawn in the best condition to benefit from the rest of your winter lawn care plan.

7. Take care of moss

Consider a moss killer from late winter to early spring to prevent moss from overtaking your lawn. Poor drainage or compacted soil are common causes of moss. You can mitigate this through aeration to address the underlying issues and discourage moss recurrence.

8. Avoid the frost

For homeowners in colder regions such as Nelson, walking on frost should be avoided where possible when executing your winter lawn care plan. A frosted lawn is fragile, leaving the grass susceptible to breaking and dying. Frost can be managed with a modest application of water from a hose in the morning, ideally before the lawn is exposed to full sunlight.

9. Use your lawn sparingly

To exit the winter months with the healthiest lawn possible, minimise the time you spend on your lawn when not maintaining it. Treading over wet grass will further compact the soil and impede its growth. Avoiding vigorous activity is one of the simplest but most effective preventatives to keeping your lawn healthy. By letting your lawn rest when it is less resilient, you can make the most of it during the warmer seasons instead.

Let Express Lawnmowing help with your winter lawn maintenance

It is important to know what to expect for your lawn over winter to get ahead of potential problems. Surveying your lawn and taking note of everything that needs to be done can be overwhelming. Some tasks should be done regularly, while others require care on a case-by-case basis. Deciding what to prioritise can be made easier with the help of professional lawn mowing services from a company that understands the terrain and your needs.

If you are too busy to give your lawn the attention it needs this winter, a local professional can take your lawn from good to great. At Express Lawnmowing, we tailor our services to suit you, operating across 30 franchises throughout New Zealand with professional and fast solutions. Reach out today for a no-obligation free quote to get ahead of the care your lawn needs.