Gardening tips, Lawn care basics, Lawn maintenance,

Get Ready for this Year’s Lawncare Tasks

January and February are quiet months for the garden. So, use this rare relaxed window to prepare your gardening tasks for the year ahead.

6 MIN 11 Feb
Last update: 01 Feb 2023
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The first couple of months of the year is relatively quiet in terms of gardening tasks. But for an excellent flying start come springtime, there are some key lawn care maintenance tasks to complete while the weather is too cold for germination.

Table of contents:
  • Lawn care maintenance tasks: Look after your mower
  • Lawn care maintenance tasks: Stock up on feed
  • Should I overseed my lawn?
  • Lawn care maintenance tasks: Tool maintenance
  • How to clean your tools

This blog explores the essential lawn care tasks to complete before the growing season commences. Because a beautiful lawn needs a little love and attention even while it’s sleeping.

Ready? Let’s go.

Lawn care maintenance tasks: Look after your mower

Lawn mower on long grass - Photo by Daniel Watson on Unsplash
Lawn mower on long grass – Photo by Daniel Watson on Unsplash

Your lawn won’t have come out of its winter dormancy yet, so you’ll be enjoying some welcome time off from your regular mowing routine. But that also means that your mower is sitting in a cold, damp shed over the winter.

So, this is the best time to think about maintaining your lawnmower for optimal performance come spring.

Most of us mow the lawn and then bung the mower back in the shed as quickly as possible. But remember, your mower is a machine that requires a little love and attention now and then.

For petrol mowers

It’s advisable to drain the tank before you store it over the winter. The petrol goes stale after a couple of months, and it can gunge up the insides of your engine. So, if you haven’t drained the tank yet, make sure you do it now!

The second task is changing the oil before your first mow of the season. New oil helps keep the engine’s moving parts in tip-top condition. Make sure you unplug the spark plugs before you drain the tank. And recycle the oil at your local refuge centre.

Check the air filter. Run it under the tap and let it completely dry before refitting. If it’s still dirty, repeat the process, or consider buying a new filter if it’s a few years old.

Change the spark plug. Your spark plug becomes dirty really quickly, and a dirty spark plug could cause malfunction during the year. Make sure that you replace it with the same size plug, and fit it carefully, taking care to avoid crossing and damaging the thread.

And finally, oil the wheels for smooth operation. And check all the nuts and bolts around the mower to ensure that everything’s nice and tight and secure.

For an electric/manual lawnmower

These tasks apply to both petrol- and electric lawnmowers:

Clean the underside of the mower and sharpen the blades.

Grass is alive when you cut it, which means that it has a high water content. Wet grass blades stick to the underside of your mower and dry out, caking on a thick layer of debris, which can hamper the operation of the motor.

So, make sure that you clean the underside of your mower with water and a scraper.

And probably the most important task of all: get those blades sharpened. Blunt blades tear your grass, which damages the plant, reducing its resistence to drought, infestation, and disease. So, sharpen your cutting blades every year before the growing season.

Lawn care maintenance tasks: Stock up on feed

Lawn feed from MOOWY

Fertiliser, if stored properly, should last for many years. But it really does depend on how you’ve stored it.

All MOOWY fertilisers and lawn feeds are shipped in resealable packaging. This means that – if fully resealed – your feed will last for several applications.

What type of feed you might need

Think about the current state of your garden, and consider which types of feed it might need:

A patchy lawn with a full or partial covering of moss needs lime to neutralise acidity within the soil and an iron-based moss killer and fertiliser to kill off the moss while re-feeding the soil.

If there are patches of dead or yellowing grass, you could either have a pest infestation or the soil may be lacking in nutrients.

If you suspect it’s a pest problem, check out our expert articles on identifying and eliminating leatherjackets and chafer grubs.

Alternatively, your lawn may just need fertilising and overseeding. But, it’s essential to use the right type of fertiliser for your specific lawn – check out our expert’s guide to fertilising your lawn for details.

Should I overseed my lawn?

Sowing grass seed by hand
Sowing seed by hand

Every lawn needs overseeding every couple of years to ensure thick grass coverage all year round. We’re going to be writing an expert’s guide to overseeding your lawn in the near future, but just as a brief outline:

Overseeding is less invasive than sowing seed from scratch – more of a patch-up maintenance task than a full-on project. You just need to rough up the surface soil with a rake before you scatter your seeds, ensuring they make good connection with the soil.

However, the most important condition for seed germination is the soil temperature: it needs to be at least 10ºC before your seed will germinate.

So, while it’s a little early to start overseeding, it’s a great time to stock up on your seeds. Again, MOOWY seeds are supplied in resealable pouches, which helps keep your seeds healthy for longer.

You might not have sown seed before, so check out our ultimate guide to sowing grass seed. And for best results, it might be a good idea to buy yourself a seed spreader, ready for the growing season.

Lawn care maintenance tasks: Tool maintenance

Dirty garden tools
Dirty garden tools – Photo by vvaldmann on Shutterstock

We’ve talked about maintaining your mower, but this time of year is also an excellent time to think about cleaning your garden tools, such as your spades, forks, shovels, and sprinklers.

You might think it slightly pointless to wash down your garden spade, for example, because – let’s face it – it’s soon going to get dirty again. But cleaning your tools isn’t necessarily about aesthetic maintenance; it’s about hygiene and longevity.

It’s not impossible to infect your soil with a range of harmful diseases if you use an unclean tool. If, for example, your spade or fork has come into contact with conditions such as box blight, bacterial canker, or phytophthora, it’s possible to contaminate your clean soil.

How to clean your tools

Blast your tools with water from your garden hose and scrape off persistent mud with a scraper or putty knife. If dirt or grime remains, soak the tools in a bucket of warm water and washing-up liquid, removing debris with wire wool or a stiff wire brush.

If you’re cleaning a tool with moving parts, such as secateurs or garden shears, lubricate the hinges with WD40. And for easier use during the year, sharpen the cutting blades.

And finally – for extra safety – disinfect your tools with chlorine bleach or a ready-made garden disinfectant, such as Jeyes Outdoor Cleaner.

Ready to get started? Or do you have questions?

We hope you’ve got plenty of good tips from this blog piece, but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Send us an email, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

Thanks for reading.

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  • What is your lawn care goal?
    1. A. Greener grass
    2. B. A more lush, dense lawn
    3. C. Bald spot repair
    4. D. Lawn restoration
    5. E. Laying out a new lawn
    6. F. Combating moss
  • For which season?
    1. A. Spring
    2. B. Summer
    3. C. Autumn
    4. D. Winter
  • Describe your lawn:
    1. A. My lawn has shaded areas
    2. B. My lawn is used intensively (e.g. by children & pets)
    3. C. I have a decorative lawn
    4. D. I have a standard lawn without special features
  • How many bald spots do you have?
    1. A. A lot, my lawn looks like a barren wasteland
    2. B. A few bald spots here and there
  • Describe your lawn restoration goal:
    1. A. I want to completely renovate my lawn
    2. B. I want to overseed my existing lawn
  • Describe your lawn:
    1. A. My lawn is shaded
    2. B. My lawn will be used intensively (e.g. by children & pets)
    3. C. I would like to have a decorative lawn
    4. D. I would like to have a thick and strong lawn
  • How bad is the moss problem in your garden?
    1. A. Bad. My lawn is covered in moss.
    2. B. Just a few spots
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Free download
Do you want a lawn calendar?

🌱 All important maintenance moments for your lawn during the year. Leave your email and we will send you the lawn calendar for free.

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Enjoy a green lawn all year round!