While most of us in the transition zone and below may not see much snow through winter, there are still effects of the colder weather on our turfgrass. Even a hard frost can damage turf, but the good news is, a well-maintained lawn can recover well from the stresses of winter.
Whether you measure your annual snowfall in feet or inches, there are some good general practices to follow to help your turf recover from cold weather and continue to thrive in the following months.
- Watch for Snow Mold. Snow Mold is a fungal disease that doesn’t become visible until after the snow is gone. If you see gray-colored circles in your turf during spring green-up, you may have snow mold. It is more likely to occur in areas where the most snow piled up.
- Frost and Frozen Grass. When your lawn is frozen or has heavy frost, the frozen blades become easy to injure because they can break with any pressure. Walking or driving on the grass, placing heavy objects on it – these can all cause damage that will require some recovery.
- Winter Kill Woes. Again, in areas that had more accumulation of snow, or that took longer to thaw due to shade, more damage is possible. If you notice brown patches during spring green-up, it may be winter kill, which does require treatment.
Whether you live in a winter wonderland, or a milder climate where a few flurries cause a run on eggs and milk, your turfgrass will be affected by the colder weather – be diligent during spring green-up and make sure to treat any disease or injury.