Grasses, regardless of their types, are the best and easiest way to keep your lawn green. Problem is your lawn needs some special care after winter to become green again. Post winter lawn care is not difficult if done properly.
When NOT to Start the Recovery:
Arrival of spring not necessarily means your lawn is ready to recover from the winter damages. Some believe mowing or raking the lawn early in spring is a good way to start the recovery process. This is not true and quite frankly it is completely unnecessary. Unless the temperature is consistently around 50F, grass blades do not even start to grow. Only around the aforementioned temperature, the lawn would be ready to be mended.
Winter also offers some benefits for the lawn which tend to go to waste with “too-soon” mending process. Winter’s cold cracks the soil which lets the trapped and excess moisture to get out, leaving the soil more aerated. Mowing, walking or handling the lawn too soon in any way while the soil is still somewhat moist causes compaction. Consequently, it takes longer for grass to grow again if not die off completely in patches. The best time to start post winter lawn care is when the soil is completely dry.
Recovering Lawn from Winter Damages:
- Compaction is the first issue that should be addressed after winter because that leads to uneven vegetation. If not handled at the right time, compaction patches lead to infertility in different sections of the lawn. The best way to treat soil compaction is to aerate the whole lawn. However, the depth of aeration depends on compaction. As a rule of thumb, aerate a section until you hit softer soil. Be careful not to hit underground installations like gas and water lines.
- Once the winter snow melts away completely, you might find some patches of grass that have gone completely dark. The most possible reason is those patches are suffering from extremely high level of nitrogen. This seems to be especially true for households with dogs because dog urine contains a very high level of nitrogen. Your lawn’s pH level should be between 6 and 7.5. Nitrogen affected places’ pH would be lower. Try soaking the ground with water to wash away the excess acidity and then do a soil pH test. If it is still too high then spread some lime using a spreader. However, if that is the case then avoid using any fertilizer for at least a week.
- If the lawn is adjoined to the sidewalk or road then the edges might have suffered from chemical snow “melters” used during the winter leaving them brown. Heavily water them for 3/4 times to wash away the chemical and then plant grass seeds.
- If there are any bare spots then you need to address them right away. Carefully select the right seed mix based on the shade/light balance.
When the time for mowing comes, make sure that the mower’s blades are as sharp as they can be so that they would cut the grass blades and not tear them. This is a great way to resist against fungal infections.