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Five Steps To Maintaining Your Lawn In Winter

by Dan Mckinney

Snow damage on the lawn can be a major problem in areas that get heavy snowfall. There are several factors of winter snow management that lead to damage. By understanding the causes, you can make an effort to avoid issues. The following tips will help you develop a snow plan that doesn't kill your lawn.

#1: Cut in fall properly

Long grass is more likely to suffer winter damage in the form of snow mold. Snow mold grows underneath the snow when the grass is too long and becomes matted. Yet, cutting too low, a process called scalping, leaves roots exposed to the cold and can lead to dead patches come spring. As a happy medium, cut the grass ½ to ¾ inch shorter than usual during your final fall mow.

#2: Mark your boundaries

Snow blowers and shovels and can tear up the edges of your lawn, in some cases ripping out long strips of turf. If you get sufficient snow that it is difficult to see where lawn ends and sidewalk begins, then plan ahead. Place driveway markers, which are stakes with reflectors attached, along the perimeter of your lawn so you can remove snow without fear of lawn damage.

#3: Vary your path

Walking across a snowy lawn doesn't usually lead to damage, unless you walk the same path over and over. This causes the ground beneath to get trampled, which leads to a bare spot once the snow melts. If you must walk across your lawn, make sure you vary your path.

#4: Beware chemical damage

Ice melt products, particularly those that contain salt, can burn and kill the grass. Use them sparingly on sidewalks bordering the lawn. If possible, sweep up any excess after the ice melts to cut down on how much of the chemical leaches into the grass.

#5: Practice patience

If your lawn doesn't look that great after the snow begins to melt, be patient. Don't rush out and try to fix it, since this can lead to more damage. Instead, wait until the grass begins growing again in spring. Many winter issues fix themselves, so they are pretty much gone after you mow the damaged grass tops off in spring. You may also need to reseed if winter die-off occurred, but by summer your lawn should be green and lush again.

If problems persist, then call a lawn maintenance company such as Pattie Group, Inc for more help.