Alan Titchmarsh explains how to repair and protect your lawn
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Mowing your lawn in the winter is often advised against by gardening experts for a number of reasons. Damp weather conditions can make it more difficult to mow your lawn, as well as pose a potential threat to both you and your lawnmower. However, there are some occasions when it is safe to take your lawnmower out for a spin.
When is the best time to mow your lawn in winter?
According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), mowing your lawn in the winter months is “usually not necessary”.
The winter months in the UK are categorised as running between November and March.
Though the RHS recommends mowing between “March and October”, there are some winter days that will allow gardeners to cut their grass.
The RHS say the only time to mow your lawn in winter is when “the weather is mild and the grass is still growing”.
Most importantly, gardeners should ensure the weather is dry and the ground is not damp from previous rainfall, dew or frost.
In a gardening Q&A on his website, David Domoney, chartered horticulturist and TV personality, advises picking a “dry day” and making sure “your soil is firm”.
He said: “Set your mower so its blades are raised higher than in summer – about two inches is fine.”
However, beginning regular mowing is not advisable during the winter unless the grass is growing rapidly and changing colour.
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In the event your grass is growing in the winter, once every three to four weeks can be enough to keep it maintained until spring arrives.
Mowing too frequently in the winter could run the risk of scalping your lawn and weakening the grass.
Mr Domoney added: “You could also get moss and weeds growing in any bare patches.
“Around two inches is the best height, but you can go up to 2.5 inches for lawns growing in shaded areas.”
When should gardeners avoid mowing their lawn in winter?
For the most part, experts say mowing your lawn is not essential in the wintertime, but there are some key times when it is considered “dangerous”.
This is largely due to the weather conditions during the colder months.
Some of the biggest threats are when the grass is wet – this includes in the morning when dew or frost has formed, and after it has been raining.
Experts from home advice platform Bob Vila said: “Using an electric lawn mower on wet grass—especially with an extension cord—runs the risk of electric shock.”
Wet conditions can also run the risk of a gardener slipping during their work and injuring themselves.
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The same goes for when frost has settled on your lawn, making it near impossible to cut without damaging your grass or your machine.
Gardeners should also keep an eye on the weather forecast as freshly cut grass can be impacted by impending frost.
If frost occurs within one to two days after cutting your grass, it can damage the grass blades.
As the grass grows very slowly during the winter, it may be difficult for it to heal from this.
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