Turf Tips: Dealing with shorter winter days
Thanks to a slight tilt on the earth’s axis not all days are created equal. Now with shorter winter days ahead, its a great excuse to pull out that jacket you never get to wear, your lawn isn’t as appreciative of the change.
How long are winter days
The tilt of the earth’s axis means that during each year long trip around the sun the angle at which the sunlight hits our planet changes. The further away from the equator you are the more profound this effect is. This gives us the longer summer days, and shorter winter days.
At the start of January our as we bake in the summer sun, south east Queensland gets nearly 14 hours of daylight. Days stretch from roughly 5am to almost 7pm. But now as we head into winter the days have turned.
At the start of June we lose roughly 3 ½ hours of sunlight every day. With our winter days shortening to only go from 6:30am to 5pm. This only gives us 10 ½ hours of sunlight a day through winter.
What do shorter days mean for your lawn
Those familiar with the sunlight needs of grass varieties may see 10 ½ hours and sunlight and think that is a lot of sun. But thanks to our bigger houses and taller fences the amount of this 10 ½ hours of sunlight that reaches your lawn can be very very low.
So if you have a couch grass variety that needs 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, it will struggle even in a Brisbane winter. If your lawn isn’t getting enough sun it will set back and thin out. If this continues areas of your lawn can die off.
What you can do to help your lawn in shorter winter days
The first thing you can do to help your lawn is to install a “fit for purpose” lawn better suited to your yard. If your backyard only gets 4 hours of direct sunlight in winter you might want to install Sir Walter buffalo or Sir Grange zoysia.
The second thing you can do is let more light in to your lawn. This is a great time of year to prune back any trees that might be further restricting the light your lawn gets on shorter days. And finally the last step is to raise up those mower blades, as the longer leaf will allow your grass to do more with less light. If your front yard still gets plenty of sun you can keep that as you usually do. But if the backyard gets less sun, then you can mow it longer during the shorter winter days to help it get through winter.
To get some more advice on how to deal with shorter winter days or to find out how to install a new lawn in winter call our team on (07) 3114 8230. You can also to pop in and order in person at our sales office on 1/243 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge. The office opens Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7am to 12pm.
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