Recovering from Winter Lawn Damage in NJ

Melting snow may reveal winter damage to lawns

Now that the snow is starting to melt away in New Jersey, you may notice that your grass doesn’t look all that healthy. With the heavy snow this season, people will experience damage from the snow, such as snow mold and winterkill. While there is no foolproof method that immediately repairs turfgrass, there are steps you can take today to minimize damage and get your lawn off to a healthy start. A comprehensive lawn care program in NJ is essential for a healthy, green lush lawn.

Why the Winter is Harsh on Turfgrass

First, it’s important to understand why the lawn takes such a beating in the winter

  • Cold temperatures freeze the grass
  • Cold, dry winds dehydrate plants

  • Ice is harsh on plant tissues

  • Temperature fluctuations disrupt the dormancy of turfgrass

  • Animals burrow and feed on lawns

  • Road salt and sand can damage turf

 Types of Winter Lawn Damage

There are also different types of damage that can occur. For instance, gray snow molds occur when snow has been on the ground for 2-3 months, while pink snow mold can occur without any snow cover. By identifying the type of damage you have, you can apply the best solution to help your lawn grow back lush and green.

Some of the most common types of winter damage include:

  • Gray snow mold

  • Pink snow mold

  • Leaf spots

  • Red thread

  • Dollar spot

  • Brown patch

  • Leaf rust

  • Pythium blight

  • Fairy ring

  • Anthracnose

 Repairing Snow Damage

The first step this spring is to remove as much snow and ice from the turf as possible. This is much easier said than done, of course, but it is the most fundamental step in minimizing damage. Use a rake to gently rake the grass to promote air circulation and light. If there is dead turfgrass, rake and remove this. You may also apply a fertilizer to help the lawn grow back, especially if you did not fertilize in the fall. Gray snow molds have already done their damage, so fungicides are not recommended. You may, however, use fungicides on pink snow mold to minimize its damage.

For more information on repairing snow damage to turf, call the lawn experts at Horizon Landscape. With our specialized lawn management program, we’ll get your lawn back to life in no time!