4 Lawn Care Jobs to Complete in January For a Brighter and Healthier Yard This Spring

These experts explain everything you should be doing to your lawn this month, including the common mistakes to avoid

frost lawn
(Image credit: Getty Images)

January isn't the sort of time when you likely give your lawn any thought. The colder weather means the backyard gets neglected and left until the warmth of spring arrives. However, you reap what you sow, and if you want a luscious-looking lawn next season, it's come to our attention that January is actually a more important month to care for your lawn than you might think. 

Modern garden ideas typically start with a good-looking lawn. It's an area of the backyard we all want to look good, whether you're a green-thumbed gardener or not. While you might have thought it was safe to leave your lawn care until next season, experts say this can be a fatal mistake. 'January is often a dormant period for lawns, but it's an excellent time for preparation and planning,' advises lawn care professional, Bryan Clayton.

To discover the things we should be doing to our lawn in January, along with the common mistakes we should be avoiding, we asked gardening experts for their insights. Follow these four tips and your lawn will look brighter, healthier, and happier come spring. 

1. Assess bare patches


(Image credit: Getty Images)

As a gardener, you might think that January is your time to relax and take some time off, but now is actually a key time to assess the condition of the lawn in your backyard and plan for the season ahead. 

'January's inactivity in the garden is perfect for assessing and measuring any bare patches in your lawn,' says GreenPal CEO and lawn expert, Bryan Clayton. This is not a difficult task, it simply requires you to get outside and take stock of your lawn's condition. 'This helps you determine exactly how much grass seed you'll need come late February, ensuring you're ready for spring seeding,' Bryan explains. As every gardener knows, it's all in the preparation, and being proactive with your lawn care is the key to a happy and healthy lawn all year round.

2. Minimize traffic 

During summer your lawn gets a lot of action. Winter is the time for it to recover and have a rest to ensure it's in top condition when the warmer weather arrives. Too much foot traffic this time of year will lead to bald patches on your lawn, which certainly isn't something you want the world to see in your front yard

'In colder regions, even if you don't have a coating of snow, your lawn is probably dormant at this time of year,' explains lawn expert Sarah Jameson. 'This is the time to minimize heavy traffic on the lawn and stay off of it if you can,' she says. 

Whilst this doesn't mean you have to stay off the lawn completely, you should try and avoid it where you can. It's especially important when there are freezing conditions as this can really damage the blades. 

3. Lay sod

A front yard with a well kept lawn

(Image credit: Getty Images)

'Contrary to popular belief, January can be an ideal time to lay sod,' says Bryan. Sod, also known as turf, is the new grass that you roll out and plant. It has many uses but will be particularly important if you are planning any large-scale landscaping ideas this year. 

'The cooler temperatures are actually beneficial, as they help the sod take root without the stress of hotter weather,' explains Bryan. 'It's a great way to get quick, effective results for those unsightly bare patches.'

4. Remove debris

'January is a critical month for lawn care as it sets the stage for the upcoming growing season,' says gardening expert Zahid Adnan, from The Plant Bible. 'Proper maintenance during this time helps strengthen the grass, promotes root development, and prepares the lawn to withstand the challenges of the year ahead.' 

One of those maintenance jobs should be clearing debris, since the build-up of fallen leaves, branches, and dead moss throughout fall and winter can have some bigger implications than you might imagine. To ensure your lawn stays healthy as we enter spring be sure to clear these this month. 'This allows for better air circulation and prevents the growth of harmful fungi,' adds Zahid.

What to avoid

garden with ornamental grasses

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While there should be a few tasks on your list to get on with in January, there are also a few things you should avoid at all costs. Heavy renovations, like front yard landscaping, are something to steer clear of, according to Bryan. 'Avoid undertaking major lawn renovations,' says Bryan. 'The dormant grass won’t recover well from aggressive treatments like dethatching or extensive soil amendments.' Instead, use this time to plan out your projects for spring where your lawn will be in better shape to facilitate changes.

One thing we are all guilty of is neglecting our tools over winter, which is a big mistake according to Bryan. 'Don't ignore your lawn care tools,' he says, 'use this downtime to service and sharpen your mower blades and other equipment. Well-maintained tools are essential for effective lawn care once the growing season kicks in.'

January might be quiet for grass growth, but it's the perfect time to get ahead for a healthy lawn in the spring. Follow these guidelines to achieve your most luscious lawn ever.

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.