Mowing The Lawn And Watering In Frost: Yes Or No?

In winter, potted plants are moved to a frost-proof place, sensitive ornamental plants are protected from cold temperatures with brushwood. What care does the lawn require? Is it okay to mow the lawn in winter?

To the point

  • Scarifying and mowing not necessary in frosty conditions
  • Watering the lawn on frost-free days when it is dry is recommended
  • mowing the lawn for the last time after the first night frost
  • Do not stress the lawn unnecessarily in sub-zero temperatures to avoid frost damage.

Watering lawn

Until autumn begins, the lawn needs a regular supply of water. During the cold season, watering is usually not necessary. However, if temperatures are consistently above five degrees Celsius and the soil is very dry, the lawn will benefit from a penetrating winter watering. Wind can also cause the lawn to dry out.

If brown or light spots appear in the lawn after winter, in most cases the grasses have dried out, not frostbitten. Remove the dead plants and sow new lawn seed when frost is no longer expected. Water the area extensively.

Rasen sprengen

Note: In spring and autumn it happens that the days are warm, but in the next threatens ground frost. Refrain from watering the lawn, because the water freezes at night and damages the roots.

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Scarify the lawn

If you want to prepare your lawn optimally for the winter, you should scarify it once again in the fall. In winter, dethatching is not necessary.

Fertilize lawn

last autumn fertilizing with organic fertilizer containing potassium before the first night frosts set in
when using a mineral fertilizer, pay attention to the duration of action
avoid nitrogenous fertilizers in autumn

Mowing the lawn

The lawn consists of various grass species. Among them are slow-growing grasses that form a dense sub-lawn, as well as fast-growing, taller varieties. When determining when to mow the lawn for the last time before winter, be sure to consider the needs of the understory grasses. The last mowing should be timed so that they can still reach a sufficient height. We recommend mowing the lawn for the last time in early November. Even if the grass still grows a little after mowing, you should refrain from further mowing in winter.
The height of cut for the last mowing of the year depends on the type of lawn:

  • Ornamental lawn: 5 centimeters
  • Sports and play turf: 5 centimeters
  • Shade lawn: 9 centimeters

The lawn should be cut short enough to provide even light to the various grass species.

Note: Do not leave grass clippings on the lawn before winter sets in. Remove the clippings and spread them on the beds or on the tree grates of your fruit trees.

Remove leaves from the lawn

  • do not leave large amounts of leaves on the lawn in winter
  • rotting can occur

Tip: Thoroughly rake leaves from the lawn before winter sets in. Pile it outside the lawn as winter quarters for small animals and insects. The small contribution helps protect beneficial insects. You can always clear away the leaves in the spring!

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Sowing lawn

  • the latest time for sowing is the beginning of September
  • water thoroughly after sowing
  • it is better to sow lawn seeds in spring

Note: Sowing lawn seeds at sub-zero temperatures has no chance of success, because the seedlings will not survive the frost.

Frequently asked questions

Does it make sense to fertilize the lawn in winter?

No, fertilizing the lawn in winter is not necessary. Providing organic fertilizer would not hurt, but also has no measurable effect. Giving a mineral fertilizer in winter can cause damage.

Is it allowed to walk on the lawn in winter?

Many experts advise against walking on the lawn in the winter to protect the frozen blades from breaking and the soil from compaction. A healthy lawn will not be damaged if you walk on it in the winter. However, you should avoid heavy foot traffic.

Can snow be left on the lawn?

Yes, the snow forms a kind of protective layer for the lawn. However, it means a strain for the grass plants if children romp on the surface when it is snowing. Avoid dumping large amounts of snow on the lawn.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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