Though spring is knocking at the door, the damage of winter can often linger. Thick snow does irreparable damage to your lawn and grass. Indeed, winter can be truly troublesome for your turf, especially in the areas which are subject to the exposure of snow. Maintaining a picture-perfect lawn with green and lush grass becomes challenging. The harsh cold weather adversely affects the health and appearance of your overall lawn. It can take quite some time for the grass to recover from the ravages of the winter months.
The season of winter tends to destroy the healthy cells of grass. Forget about those tiny plants, winter damages the bigger plants as well, turning them brown and withered. Cold weather can affect your lawn in many ways.
Here are some of the common effects of cold weather on your lawn:
- Salt Damage
The usage of salt to melt the ice is a very obvious practice in cold climates. However, what most people are not aware of is that the high salt level can damage the roots of the grasses and increase the chances of diseases. Thus, pushing snow toward the turf near walkways and roadways is malpractice. However, to fight the salt injury effectively, consider bordering your lawn with salt-tolerant grasses like wheatgrass, perennial ryegrass, and alkali grass.
- Snow Molds
Have you ever sighted circular and brown colored patches in your lawn after winter? Such patches (8-12 inches) are caused by the snow molds, another common foe to your lawn during the winter. These are the fungi that damage grass exposed to snow. The growth of these molds also occurs below the freezing temperature and continues even after the snow melts. They soak up all the moisture from the grass and let them appear either pink or gray. Such damage is severe as they might take a long period to turn green again. To minimize the effect of snow molds, it is wise to avoid over-application of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Also, spread out the snow to avoid piling and promote rapid melting.
- Crown Freeze or Hydration
Crown freeze is abiotic winter damage that occurs mostly in late winters. The unexpected or sudden freeze after comparatively warmer weather might harm the crowns of grass blades. The frozen crowns of grass rupture their cell membranes, draw out their moisture, and finally kill the plant. Though there are not many practices to avoid hydration, reseeding with a cool-season turfgrass blend might help you out.
Though the damage of voles is rarely permanent, they make your lawn look dreadful. A vole is a form of winter damage that leaves a network of crisscrossing trails. Once the snow melts, voles begin to appear. Apart from causing cosmetic damage to your lawn, these voles are the breeding ground for pests and rodents. Pests like mice spend their winter in such voles, damaging the plant roots. However, the trimming and regular clean up of your lawn keeps such problems at bay.
There’s no denying that colder months can cause a number of troubles for your lawn. However, that does not mean that you cannot control it. Stay on top when it comes to caring for your lawn with professional winter lawn care services. This will gradually reap the rewards of a beautiful and healthy lawn all year round – one that you will be proud to show off.