We spend all spring, summer, and fall taking care of our lawns. We mow regularly, water, aerate, weed, fertilize and spread fresh organic compost. Then the cold moves in and suddenly our lawns get coated in snow and we….wait. But what is going on with the grass under all that snow? How is that investment of time, money and resources being affected as it sits buried month after month? The good news is your lawn is pretty adaptable (especially if you are utilizing an organic lawn program like the one from Pure Solutions) and will usually survive the winter with minimal negative repercussions. That being said, your lawn goes through changes over the winter, some of which may need to be addressed when the snow melts.
Most of our turf grass goes dormant in colder months, looking pale/brownish and sort of dead, however it's still very much alive. When grass goes dormant for the winter season, it shuts down and turns brown in order to conserve water and nutrients. Even though your lawn will be covered in snow it will grow back green and lush, and can be enhanced with a great all natural turf care program.
A common issue we see in New England is snow mold. According to the University of Massachusetts:
“Snow mold refers to a group of diseases that occur in cool to cold weather and are favored by snow cover...Symptoms develop following long periods of cool, wet weather and first appear as small water-soaked spots which turn orange brown to dark reddish brown before fading to light gray or tan. The spots are usually less than 8 in. in diameter with a water-soaked, gray black margin. Under snow cover or in very wet conditions, spots may be covered with a fluffy white mycelium. As the snow melts, spots appear bleached white to tan, often with a pink margin.”
Snow mold appears as the snow melts and when you notice it, it should be addressed immediately with a light raking, avoid impaction by keeping people/vehicles off the area and try to dry the area out as best as possible. With some sun, aeration and reseeding the area should bounce back.
Where there is snow, there is ice. Ice can destroy grass and landscaping by weighing down plants and ripping/tearing plant tissues that can cause irreversible damage. Additionally, by utilizing salt and other deicing products you can kill the root systems of your lawn. Even when not applied directly, salting your property will result in runoff that can damage the areas of your turf grass it comes in contact with. When possible “try sand, cat litter, etc. as substitutes for de icing salt.” (umass.edu)
Lawns have been getting covered by snow for a lot longer than any of us have been around. The key to your lawn surviving a cold, harsh winter is really making sure it’s incredibly healthy and set up for success before the snow falls. That is why here at Pure Solutions we work hard with our clients with recurring services that manage your lawn's health, through organic solutions, year round. If you have any questions about your lawn and how best to help it survive the winter shoot us a note or give us a call, we are happy to help!