Caring for your Grass in Winter

Winter, for many of us it means that the lush green lawns of Summer turn into a sad, threadbare turf. To keep your lawn looking good, there are a few changes that you can make in winter months. Pretoria gets dry, crisp and cold weather.

There are many varieties of grass in South Africa including Kikuyu, Buffalo, LM Berea, Bermuda and Gulf Green. All of which suit gardens with full sun, but some tolerate shade much better than others. Different types of grass suit different types of gardens, so make sure that you know your lawn’s priorities.

In winter months, use a fertiliser high in phosphate (a 2:3:2 fertiliser), which encourages root development over leaf development. If there is a place in your garden that consistently suffers in winter, consider replacing the lawn there with something else. It is essential that newly planted grass be kept damp so that the new roots readily become established.

– Affordable
– Doesn’t handle cool climates too well
– Requires frequent watering and almost full sun, which means that it often dies out completely in Winter.
– Grows incredibly fast
– Has a short recovery time
– Ideal for lawns that have lots of traffic

– Better at adapting to shade
– More expensive
– Slow-growing
– Mowed less frequently
– No self-reviving properties
– Can’t be neglected, water regularly watering

– Excellent shade tolerance
– Soft texture
– Does not respond well to high traffic
– LM Berea should not be mowed too short

– Needs full sun but not as much water as other lawn types.
– Used to combat soil erosion, as its roots sit very deep in the soil
– Mowed short
– Tolerates high traffic well

Gulf Green
– Indigenous species ideal for manicured areas of lawn
– Keeps its colour and soft texture throughout the cold months
– Loves water
– Responds well to traffic
– Grows fast
– Does not thrive in the dryer interior regions in the Winter
– Hates frost

Common Winter Lawn Problems

Wintergrass: It is a common lawn pest during Winter. It is a bright, light green, finely leafed grass that spreads and can cause damage if left unattended. This root system degrades slowly, which means that Wintergrass is never a short-lived problem. Some lawns are rife with Wintergrass.

Dehydration: Winter means that the lawn dies each year. Frost can be very dangerous to lawns, so if your area experiences regular frost, make sure that your lawn is able to tolerate it.

Over-hydration: On the other side of the spectrum, lawn can easily become over-hydrated in Winter.

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