Worried About the Excessive Snow on the Lawn This Year?

I think it’s safe to say there has been consistent snow coverage on the lawns for most of the 2014 winter. You may be wondering what effect this has on the overall health of the turf. The truth is, snow can damage the grass in several ways.
One problem that arises from the road and driveway snow removal process is the ruts that can be caused from snow plows going over the edge and removing the sod. This can be easily corrected sometimes by replacing the piece as soon as possible. Often, the turf is dormant and will transplant well. If the sod piece is not available, then the area will have to be filled in and re-seeded to restore the turf. Another problem that occurs with snow and ice is “winter kill”. This is where grass plants actually die for several reasons: crown hydration, desiccation, low temperature stress and ice sheets can all cause the turf to perish before its time. Little can be done to stop this but choosing a hearty grass variety is a good tool. Finally, if the turf survives all of these potential problems, it can still be attacked by a disease called snow mold. This is where a pathogen actually invades the plant causing a nasty mold to grow and kill the plant. This happens under the snow and is visible when the white stuff melts.
So as you can see, winter is not a friend of turfgrass. The milder the winter, the better for your lawn. A proper fertilization and weed control program, along with good mowing practices will go a long way in preserving your lawn when Jack Frost comes to visit.