For those of us living in warmer climates where we experience no frost, snow or other extreme cold weather conditions in Winter, but instead often have blue skies, we will have to decide how we go about caring for our lawns over the still cold winter months, when growth rates for lawns is very very slow, yet with growth still continuing.
Many people are of the opinion and practice that lawn mowing in the colder months is not necessary, and so they pack the lawn mower away for the winter, much like those who live in the coldest climates have little choice to do. And this practice may well work well for many lawns and to the satisfaction of the lawn owner also.
Our specific location will play a part in a decision of whether to continue lawn mowing in Winter also, some folks may still never see snow or frost, yet their warm season lawns still go completely dormant over the coldest months, and so lawn mowing will be completely unnecessary for them, and with no ill effects from such.
Also lawns whereby the owners have no particular want to keep them looking as perfect or well manicured as possible, despite the season, for these people lawn mowing in Winter is also irrelevant for their needs.
The Benefits Of Lawn Mowing In Winter
For those of us whose lawns do continue to grow, although slowly, over Winter, and who do want to maintain our lawns in at least a fairly decent state, then it can often be the best practice for us to continue to mow lawns in the Wintertime.
And we do this for a few different reasons.
While our lawns will never become overgrown in Winter, they can still become a little unsightly with uneven leaf growth occurring, leaf litter from trees accumulating, lawn edges growing over paths etc. Now none of this makes for an ugly lawn at all, however once we have mowed and edged the lawns and return them to a crisp finish of lawn edges and a nice even height, with all debris removed from the lawns… we really do appreciate the effort we did put in to mow the lawns, as they always come back looking much cleaner and neater.
Thatch control is another reason to continue to mow lawns in Winter. While often the leaf material of lawns may not seem like it grows much in Winter, the thatch layer hiding beneath that lawn leaf material is indeed still growing, albeit at a slower rate as well.
The continuation of lawn mowing, at a less frequent rate, in the Winter months does keep that thatch from accumulating too much. I’ve personally seen many lawns that were left for 3-4 months without lawn mowing during Winter, only to discover when the lawn was mowed in Spring that the thatch layer had increased and so the lawn mowing height had to be adjusted upwards to accommodate the extra thatch height. Other times the lawn was scalped into the thatch layer when the lawn was again mowed at its regular height in Spring after no lawn mowing was done in Winter.
Tillering is the last reason why it is often a good idea to mow lawns during Winter in the warmer regions. When we mow a lawn regularly and remove the green leaf material, the lawn responds to that lawn mowing by growing more green leaf to replace what was lost in the lawn mowing. This is Tillering, and it makes for a nice green lawn with healthy leaf growth. So the lawn uses its available energy to grow nice green leaf to make us a beautiful lawn, instead of using that same energy to spread into garden beds or by creating more thatch.
Obviously Tillering is greatly reduced in Winter, as is lawn growth, but this too helps us to maintain a healthy green lawn over the colder months in warmer regions. So even in Wintertime we can keep our lawns looking neat and tidy, and as green as they possibly can be during this time, while also reducing thatch buildup and any spread of the lawn into surrounding garden beds.
Mowing lawns over Winter is a personal decision which is also dependent on the location of the lawn and the temperatures. For many of us, getting the lawn mower out of the shed once a month during the colder months is a wonderful idea and very beneficial to the lawn too.