Your guide to taking care of your lawn in Winter
Lawns can sometimes take a beating during wintertime.
Here is your guide to help you take care of your lawn this winter.
Know your lawn
In South Africa, we typically use one of five types of grass for our lawns. Knowing which type of grass you use, will help you guide you to take care of your lawn most effectively.
Kikuyu is commonly used because of its ease of use. Kikuyu can withstand dry spells and foot traffic, it doesn’t do too well in shade and requires lots of water.
Buffalo is a slow-growing grass, but it requires less water than Kikuyu. Buffalo grass will also grow well in full sun or in the shade (up to 60% shade). The soil used for buffalo can be light, heavy or even damp or dry, which is perfect for the drier winter provinces in South Africa.
Bermuda is a fast-growing grass in summer and slow in winter. Bermuda doesn’t require lots of water, which could also work for drier regions.
LM Berea is mostly recommended for shady areas, much like Buffalo, but LM Berea is able to grow in shade of up to 80%.
The evergreen blend consists of a mixture of summer and winter growing grass in order to maintain better growth throughout the year. Evergreen grass isn’t as waterwise as the rest, as it requires much more water than all the rest, which is better for rainier regions.
Hydrate your lawn
Sounds like a simple task, but depending on where you are, you might have trouble with the climate being too dry or over-saturating your lawn by watering your lawn in addition to the pouring, heavy rains.
What might help with high-precipitation regions is irrigation.
You want water to trickle down to the plants or areas that need the water. If water remains stagnant in your lawn, it might cause the roots to rot.
Fertilization is necessary in winter months too, although the types of fertilizer used should be different.
In winter, you want to use a fertilizer that’s high in phosphate (like a 2:3:2 fertilizer) that will encourage your lawn’s roots to develop.
In summer, you want to use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that will promote leaf development.
Get rid of wintergreen
Wintergreen is a lawn pest that usually makes an appearance in Winter.
Wintergrass is a common lawn pest during winter. It is an effective invader that grows healthily, particularly in shady areas or where it is damp. It is a light green, finely-leafed grass that spreads and causes damage if left unattended. Wintergrass has a web-like, shallow root system that chokes the root system of a lawn.
Feature image: Unsplash / @greg_nunes