Winter lawn problems you need to watch out for
Winter, just like any other season, has a critical impact on your lawn’s health. This is due to the cold weather of the winter months, snowfall, high humidity levels, and few hours of sunlight. All these factors contribute to considerable stress on the grass, potentially compromising vegetative recovery during spring. In this article, we go over winter lawn care and the most common lawn problems that you should monitor to have the most vibrant grass in your neighborhood.
5 most common lawn problems in winter
The 5 most common lawn problems in winter are:
- Icy footprints?
- Fusarium patch disease?
- Red thread disease?
1. Icy footprints
When people walk across a frozen lawn, they do severe damage to the grass blades. The consequence of this is that, when the grass thaws, you can see brown or black tracks where the leaves have died. Each grass blade is made up of millions of tiny cells, and each cell is filled with fluid. On warmer days, this fluid is liquid and when you walk on it, most of the cells are basically like orange pulp. Some cells may burst, but most grass blades can absorb the impact; not much damage to lawns is done when the fluid is in liquid form.
However, when that fluid freezes, grass blades are unable to absorb the shock. It just breaks apart and kills the cells. If you really can't help but walk on your frozen lawn, try using some old lawn boards (or something similar) so you can spread your weight and protect your lawn.
If there is a lot of snow on your lawn, then your grass will be protected and insulated by it. Just avoid frequent passage on the same patch of grass!
2. Fusarium patch disease
This is also known as "snow mold". The fusarium patch disease commonly appears in warm and humid conditions, which are precisely the conditions found under a layer of snow. The appearance of this disease is quite distinctive. It looks like small cotton balls on the surface of the lawn. Each fusarium area is circular and the grass inside is straw-colored. However, sometimes some brown patches come together and create different shapes.
When your lawn is not frozen, it is recommended that you apply a turf disease control product as soon as you detect the first signs of this disease. To prevent this type of attack during the winter, make sure to implement regular lawn maintenance during the other three seasons before winter arrives. Aeration and scarification are also good ideas!
3. Red thread disease
This is another common lawn disease that usually shows up in the winter. It is caused by a fungal disease that feeds on weak grass blades. If you see brown or pinkish uneven patches on your lawn, it is an indicator that your lawn has been affected by red thread disease.
Looking closely, you can see that the pinkish tint comes from small thread-like structures attached to the grass. Although it may look pretty, it is not good for the health of your lawn. To prevent this, it is important that you give your lawn some nutrients so that the grass plants are firmly rooted in the earth. Depending on the type of grass on your property, the mineral supplement that must be given will vary.
Moss is something that always comes and goes. It often bunches up in the lawn and makes it difficult to cut, but it can also be dangerous, increasing the chance of slips and falls. It usually appears around the base of trees, where the light of the sun does not reach. It can be treated with sprays and chemicals but try to cut the problem at the base. If you can remove what’s casting the unnatural shadow, you should do it.
If winter casts shadows on your lawn, or if your soil has poor drainage, you'll probably notice liverwort starting to appear in your garden. At first, you may only see it while lawn mowing, but it is an indicator that action must be taken as soon as possible. It is a flat green plant with no stem that can cause many problems in your garden.It is usually found anywhere that has shade or excess moisture. As with moss, you should try to reduce shadows, aerate the soil and improve drainage in your garden.
Tips for Winter Lawn Care
Lawn maintenance in December
Make sure that the last fallen leaves are removed in the fall, and that the plants around the lawn have been properly trimmed. This will help minimize shadow areas. In case of snow, try not to step on the grass as much as possible. Stepping on your grass during the first snows will easily damage your lawn and make patches of mud.
Work the lawn in January
In the month of January, you will notice that your lawn will be largely covered by frost or snow. It is not recommended at all to walk on the lawn when it is covered with ice or snow, as it can end up damaging the lawn and compacting the surface layer. If you notice that the grass is yellowish or has spots of different colors, it is because you compacted the layer of snow or ice when stepping on it.
Lawn maintenance in February
In the event that there is a stagnation of water, you must ensure that there is good drainage and make small holes in the ground so that the absorption of water is faster and more effective. If you don't ensure good drainage, your lawn could suffocate, giving a yellowish color to grass blades and welcoming the development of snow mold and moss.
If you do the first fertilization of the lawn in spring, the last one should be done in autumn, between October and November. Also, preventive treatments for weeds and fungal diseases should be done in the fall months.
Lawn maintenance services
If you have applied all of this advice but your lawn appears to be severely damaged, the best thing you can do is leave it in the hands of lawn care professionals. Forever Green guarantees the best price?services?products ratio. Discover our lawn care maintenance packages and choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.