Couch grass often suffers more than other lawn varieties when Winter arrives, this is caused primarily due to it's very fine leaf blade. Understanding why Couch lawn loses colour in Winter or even dies off in certain areas will give us the answers of how to properly care for Couch lawns in Winter.
Couch has a very fine leaf blade, perhaps the thinnest of all lawn varieties, while this can make a Couch lawn very attractive, the significantly smaller green leaf area make the leaf very poor at photosynthesis, which is the process of using direct sunlight to power its growth and food supply. For this reason Couch has the highest requirement for direct sunlight than all other grass varieties
This high requirement for sunlight is the reason Couch lawns suffer in Winter. When sunlight hours are severely reduced, food supply decreases and the lawn can often look a little worse for wear. Couch lawn may even die off in some areas which are now in almost permanent shade due to the shifting of the sun.
Good Winter lawn care practices begin in Spring and then continue into Winter. Our Winter Lawn Care article details the best Winter lawn care practices, and this should be the first place to begin with caring for Couch lawns in Winter. These Winter lawn care practices usually involve good fertilising, continuing lawn mowing and pruning surrounding bushes and trees. The article is perfect for Couch lawns.
In Couch lawn areas which die off completely in Winter, then trimming any surrounding foliage should be done to increase sunlight in the Winter months, if this can't be done then the last available options would be to plant another lawn type in the area such as a Buffalo grass which is highly shade tolerant. The lawn area can also be over-seeded for the Winter with a Cool Season grass, when planted in Mid Autumn it will remain green for the Winter and then die off as the temperature increases, allowing the Couch to re-grow in the area.
Lawn aeration is the process of using a lawn coring machine to punch holes into the lawn, and removing plugs of soil, thatch and lawn. Lawn coring greatly aids in the free flowing of both Oxygen and Water through the soil, it removes thatch and breaks up compacted soil. Lawn coring is recommended for all lawns in order they can remain in the best condition possible.
Lawn Coring for Winter gives an added boost which allows for water to flow freely and reduce any problems of water retention in the soil over Winter, the free flow of oxygen will also boost the lawn at it's most vulnerable time of year, and lastly - lawn coring allows Winter fertilisers to effectively get straight to the root zone of the lawn giving it the best possible benefit from their application.
Coring lawns for Winter should be done in late Autumn, and the holes should be left open for greatest benefit. While lawn coring in late Autumn will not give the great green leaf results that it does when completed in Spring, it will aid greatly in having a much nicer lawn over Winter, and continuing through the rest of the year.