What care does my lawn need over winter?

Garden Experts
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Dear Mr. Kötter, many thanks for your professional tips in the GARDENA garden magazine (Newsletter). – In the middle of October 2014, we laid down rolled lawn. It was recommended to us to water the lawn well and not to walk over it for four weeks. Assuming that the warm and dry weather continues: should I apply autumn fertiliser in the middle/end of November? Should I cut the grass for the first time prior to the winter? And what takes priority: fertilisation or mowing? Many thanks for your advice!

The GARDENA gardening expert

Dear Mr. A, the suggestions by your landscape gardener are correct, and I would like to extend the “do not walk on the grass” prohibition by saying that you should in general not walk on lawn when it is covered in frost or snow, as is the case every winter season. Otherwise you are likely to have brown, dead areas of lawn in spring of next year. It is always expedient to apply autumn fertiliser to your lawn, because the slow-flowing fertilisers are hardly washed away, and promote the lively growth of your lawn in the coming spring. Your lawn was however planted out relatively late in the season, and I would therefore advise you not to fertilise it yet this year. If you do not ‘feed’ the grass as well as usual, this will force it to grow roots during the milder winter days in order to search the soil more intensively for nutrients: this will cause it to root itself better into the ground. It is then better to fertilise in good time in spring, approximately at the end of March / beginning of April, depending on the weather.

Whether you still have to mow your lawn before winter is dependent on the stalk length. Send your lawn into the winter with a stalk length of approximately four centimetres.

I cannot advise you as to whether fertilisation or mowing should take priority, as both of these are dependent on the necessity of the measure: if fertilisation and/or cutting are required, then they should be carried out: if not, they should not be carried out.