Winter Lawn Damage
Winter can be a brutal time of year for local lawns. Between stress caused by extreme winter weather, damage from snow plows, and turf-weakening cold-season diseases, many lawns end up looking a little worse for wear once the snow melts.
Weed Man has put together a handy guide to help you monitor the state of your lawn over the next few months and be better prepared for early spring repairs when the time comes.
Extreme Winter Weather: Sub-zero temperatures, bone-chilling winter winds, and regular snow/ice accumulation aren’t just a pain for homeowners – they also can wreak major havoc on home lawns. Grass is a living organism that can easily become weakened in the face of seasonal pressures. An application of fall fertilizer can help strengthen a lawn in time for winter, but we are past the time of year when product can be applied and take effect. Spring fertilizer applied next growing season, however, can help thicken up winter-weary turf and give your lawn the boost it needs after a tough winter.
Snow Plow & Shovel Damage: As a homeowner, you may receive an unwelcome surprise once the snow finally melts: torn, damaged turf – especially in areas of the lawn that border your driveway and sidewalks. In some cases, there is no stopping this from occurring, as snow removal is not exactly a delicate endeavor. Pushing mounds of snow from driveways, sidewalks and parking lots requires horsepower and putting the plow directly to the pavement, and grazing surrounding grass plants in the process is bound to happen. So what can you to make the job of repairing your lawn a little easier in the spring? Talk with your snow removal professional and make sure the guide stakes – those plastic or wooden posts that are placed along the edge of your driveway or sidewalk – are as close to the cement as possible. That will hopefully help the plow operator keep the plow blade on the cement and not in your lawn!
Snow Mold: As the snow and ice melt away in spring, you may notice an unsightly fungus forming on any wet, matted down grass plants. Snow mold is a common fungal disease that is most often seen on northern turfgrass species. Snow mold fungi live in thatch, soil, and dead leaves within the lawn all year long, feeding on grass nutrients and destroying vital plant cells in the process. Prolonged snow coverage or periods of cool, wet weather provide favorable conditions for snow mold fungi to attack. Fortunately, snow mold will likely improve with better, drier weather, although profession fertilization, topdressing, or reseeding may be necessary depending on the severity of damage the disease leaves behind.
Winter can be stressful – but armed with the right knowledge and a partner like Weed Man, your lawn will be able to perform at its best and bounce back in springtime.
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