5 ways that winter can affect your lawn

During winter, your lawn needs all the help it can get, but you might be wondering what can happen if you don’t properly prepare.

Now that winter is just around the corner, we hope you’ve started preparing your lawn for the cold season. During winter, your lawn needs all the help it can get, but you might be wondering what can happen if you don’t properly prepare.

Here are 5 ways that winter can affect your lawn:

Snow Mould

Snow mould is a lawn disease that can grow under the cover of snow over the duration of the winter. It can vary in its severity, but the risk is low if you’ve fertilized your lawn properly in the fall. Also, snow cover is often helpful for guarding from some of the other risks on this list. Overall snow is a positive thing because of the low-risk nature of getting snow mould.

To rehabilitate your lawn after snow mould, you can use core aeration to allow for your grass to regain its strength.

Crown Hydration
Crown dehydration occurs when there are frequent fluctuations in temperature. This causes the snow to melt and then freeze over top of the grass. How much the frozen grass is affected by the ice depends on the longevity of the freezing, the depth of the ice and the hardiness and health of your grass.

Although a healthier and fertilized lawn is more likely to survive, it’s hard to avoid this hazard. The most vulnerable spots are ones with poor drainage and the lowest points in the lawn.

Winter Desiccation

Cold, dry and windy areas are often very vulnerable to lawn desiccation. These conditions prevent your lawn’s roots from gathering enough moisture to spread to the blades of the grass causing varying degrees of damage and potentially death.

Ensuring you grass’ roots are strong with a high-nitrogen fertilizer in the late fall can help your grass maintain its strength through the winter. You should also hope for snow as it is the best cover for your grass and can provide it with moisture while in its dormant stages.

Salt Damage
Is there anything winter salting doesn’t damage? Your car, your boots, the bottom of your pants and yes, also your lawn.
In Canada, salt usually gathers along the edges of lawns as snow plows push snow to the side of the road and onto the curb. Once the snow melts and the ice trickles down into the soil and grass, it prevents the roots of your plants from absorbing the moisture and nutrients it needs to survive.

To make sure your lawn doesn’t suffer any further after the winter is over, deep-water soakings and an application of gypsum can help break down and flush out the salt.


All of the above possibilities can vary in severity and the worst-case scenario in each of them is the death of your plants and lawn.
If only in small patches, you should be able to regrow the patches with over seeding, core aeration and top dressing. In extreme cases, you may have to turn to more reconstructive methods.

One of the most effective ways to avoid the perils of winter on your lawn is to sign up for a program with Hometurf Lawn Care. We can provide many of the services needed to fend off lawn disease or other threats and we have the best advice to help your lawn bounce back healthy and green come the spring.

Click here to get in touch with Hometurf Lawn Care and take the first step in protecting your lawn from winter.