Winter Lawn Damage
From rodents, to snow mold, to salt and snow plow damage…Winter can be a very hard time for Southeast Pennsylvania lawns.
Especially if you forgot to treat your yard with a wintering fertilizer last Fall…The nutrients distributed by treating your lawn with a winter fertilizer are stored in the root system of your grass. These nutrients provide necessary nourishment to your lawn in the early Spring. Winter fertilizer should be applied around October or November, before the lawn goes dormant for the Winter.
So what do you do when the snow melts and your lawn is left looking less than desirable? Check out the chart below for solutions to some of the most common winter lawn damage.
Common Winter Damage
Voles: These are small rodents that look similar to mice. They have shorter tails and legs and a stocky body. Voles eat the grass when it’s buried under the snow, leaving tunnels and dead grass behind. They chew the grass stems off, leaving the roots and crowns.
Often times the grass will grow back on its own. Once the soil has dried out a bit, then you can rake away the dead grass to allow for the new stems to grow. Adding some new grass seed to the affected areas will help to speed up the overall appearance of your lawn as well.
Snow Mold: This disease is usually the first one of the year. It typically shows up, after the snow melts, as large yellow patches of lawn that may look like the grass is “glued” together.
The key to keeping Snow Mold off your lawn is fall prevention. If however, your lawn was not fortunate enough to have survived the winter without contracting this disease… the symptoms of Snow Mold can be cleaned up with a light raking, as to not disturb the healthy grass around the affected areas. Again, adding some new grass seed to the affected areas will help to speed up the overall appearance of your lawn as it recovers.
Salt Damage: Salt damage is caused by heavy salt use on roadways and sidewalks. You may notice this more if your lawn is against, or close to, a busy road or sidewalk where snow is mixed with salt and often piled up during the winter months.
Treating your lawn with pelletized gypsum can help to reverse salt damage. The gypsum counteracts the salt with calcium and sulfur, which will help to restore the grass and boost new growth. It can also help your soil retain water.