Preventing Winter Damage

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3 Steps to Avoid Winter Damage

Many individuals have spent the winter months staying warm inside to avoid the cold New Jersey temperatures, but lawns don’t have that luxury. Depending on the severity of the winter, lawns may need a little TLC. Now that the snow is beginning to melt and temperatures are on the rise, it will soon be time to check your lawn and assess it for winter damage.

One common type of winter damage is referred to as winter kill, which prevents grass from returning to its emerald green hue when spring arrives. Winter kill is caused by a combination of winter weather elements, including wind, ice, snow, cold desiccation, snow mold, and compacted soil. Winter damage is often unsightly with brown or bare patches throughout the yard. The good news is that winter damage can be reversed.

Steps to Reverse Winter Kill Damage

Here are three steps to get rid of winter damage to your lawn.

Remove thatch.

Thatch is a thick layer of organic materials matted into a lawn, preventing it from being able to grow properly. Once the cold temperatures are above freezing, remove layers of thatch from the lawn to help correct winter damage. If it is less than an inch thick, you won’t need to buy or rent a machine, use a garden rake over the area instead.

Replant grass.

In bare spots, reseeding is the best way to regain that beautiful lawn from last summer. Consider planting grasses that can withstand winter damage like creeping bentgrass or rough bluegrass.

Fertilize and water it.

Don’t forget to fertilize and water new grass to encourage faster growth and help it establish strong roots this spring.

How to Prevent Winter Damage

Every lawn is subject to winter damage, but healthier lawns can withstand the winter elements better than unhealthy grass. Taking care of your lawn requires more than mowing and weeding. Homeowners should also invest time in proper lawn treatments, including fertilizing, overseeding, aerating, and watering.

Here are a few tips to keep your lawn healthy and prevent winter damage.

  • Remove thatch throughout the year.
  • Don’t over-water grass in the warmer months.
  • Plant dormant grass that can withstand the “freeze and thaw” experience in New Jersey.
  • Replace shaded grassy areas with mulch as they struggle all year to thrive and won’t be able to withstand winter damage.
  • Even out the backyard to assure all areas are getting adequate amounts of nutrients.
  • Aerate the ground to minimize compacted soil.

Perennial Lawn Care assists homeowners with properly caring for their lawn, shrubs, and trees throughout the year. Call us today to learn more!

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