The simple answer is you shouldn’t! Although your lawn will continue to grow, albeit slowly, the amount will be scarcely noticeable and cutting during the winter will only do more harm than good. Grass grows most prolifically during warm, moist temperatures that ideally occur in the late spring. Extremes of heat or cold will prevent it growing. There were not many lawn mowing duties during our recent hot summer! In the late autumn, you should give the lawn a final cut but ensure the blades are set at a higher level. This will provide a cushion of growth to protect the base of the shoots during ice and snow. If there seems to be no respite from gales and rain, it is better for your grass to spend your time cleaning your lawnmower and packing it away until the spring.
Autumn and winter are seasons that are particularly known for heavy rainfall. Trying to cut your grass when it is thoroughly wet is to avoided at all costs for several reasons. Rainwater won’t evaporate as quickly as in the warm summer months leaving the soil beneath your grass soaked for probably days at a time. Walking over the lawn with a lawnmower will be far too heavy for the soil to sustain resulting in ruts and hollows that will create puddles and irreparable damage. Blades of grass will become wedged in the mechanism and end up being torn out from the soil leaving bare patches.
Another problem caused by a waterlogged winter lawn is that due to the soft, unstable ground the weight of yourself plus the mower will flatten and compact the soil. During an intermittent dry spell the soil will harden and completely stifle the roots of your lawn providing an unhealthy growing medium. The roots actually need access to oxygen that is available in a well drained soil which is one of the reasons why heavy clay soils should be regularly spiked during the spring and autumn. Although most lawns seem tough they need careful attention to keep them in tip top shape.
New Lawns for Old
If you have been tempted to cut your lawn far too late into the autumn and winter there is a chance that by the spring your lawn will probably need digging up and replacing completely. This can be quite a difficult, time-consuming task. Flattening it out by filling in hollows or digging under bumps to remove surplus soil and then over-seeding in the spring is one solution that can remedy any mistakes. Another idea is to spend the winter thinking about how to use this unforeseen opportunity to create a whole new look for your lawn with a brand new design. Perhaps you could redraw your borders to accommodate a circular lawn or if your garden’s narrow, try incorporating curved edges to add extra interest. Alternatively, contact Garden Club London for the latest in innovative lawn design.