The snow has melted for good and for the first time this Spring, you’re getting a good look at your lawn. You may see a sad soggy landscape with patches of brown. Freeze-thaw-freeze conditions like we’ve had this year are especially harsh on our lawns, since it can damage grass blades and leave the root system brittle and weak. But don’t fret! Spring is the time for your lawn to bounce back after Winter dormancy. While it may look less than ideal now, by following the advice below you will see your lawn coming back to life in a few short weeks.
AVOID FOOT TRAFFIC WHILE SOGGY
One very important step in caring for your lawn while it thaws is staying off of it! Until it dries, foot traffic on your lawn should be kept to a minimum in order to avoid soil compaction issues. It is especially crucial to stay off the grass when the surface is thawed but the ground below is still frozen. This breaks the roots below the surface and causes damage to your lawn. Let your turf dry out completely before you attempt any lawn care chores for the first time this Spring.
TREAT SALT DAMAGE
This year, you likely had to apply salt or ice-melter to your driveway and the sidewalks around your house to keep them from getting too slippery. Combined with salt from the trucks treating the roads, your lawn may be affected in the form of dry brown/yellow patches. This damage is usually seen along the borders of your lawn, or wherever you deposited snow while shoveling over the Winter. You can try to repair salt damage by applying Gypsum to the affected area. Gypsum provides your lawn with sulfur and calcium, which helps improve the soil and sparks grass growth of strong healthy grass. In extreme cases, you may have to replace the grass.
ERADICATE SNOW MOULD
Snow mould is a fungal disease that appears on your lawn as the snow melts. There are two types, gray and pink, and they thrive in moist conditions at temperatures between 0° C and 7° C. Pink snow mould tends to cause more severe damage and is difficult to treat, but gray snow mould tends to treat itself once the turf dries out fully. If you spot gray snow mould on your lawn, you can help the drying process by gently raking the patches with mould to break up compacted areas and circulate air through the grass. Remember to stay safe by wearing a mask to prevent you from breathing in the mould spores.
LOOK FOR DRAINAGE ISSUES
A good way to help your lawn dry out after it thaws is to alleviate any drainage issues in your yard. If you experience flooded areas after heavy rainfall, the slope of your yard may be to blame. If your lawn slopes toward your house you also risk flooding inside your home, so dealing with drainage problems is beneficial to both your turf and your peace of mind.
You can level your yard yourself if you are dealing with minor drainage problems, but significant issues are best left to a professional service. Your turf will need to be repaired once the ground is level. If you are looking for a less invasive solution to your drainage problems, you can install a drainage system to move water out of areas of your lawn prone to flooding. You can make a simple DIY drainage system for minor issues, or purchase a system from a retail outlet or professional service for more severe problems.
Another way you can improve the drainage in your yard is by utilizing core aeration. Core aeration in the Spring helps to decrease soil compaction that can occur from snow build up and foot traffic over the Winter. Aeration also allows water to flow down into the roots of the grass, and reduces visible puddles in your lawn. In addition to the drainage benefits, aeration helps air and nutrients reach the grass roots, so it’s a great practice to employ in your yard regardless of drainage problems.
Good luck helping your lawn bounce back after the thaw, and we look forward to working with you to keep your turf looking its best this season! If you have any questions about reviving your lawn this Spring, feel free to reach us at 1.888.791.8873 or email us!