Canadian winters can be particularly harsh on our lawns. Between the frost, snow and ice, our lawns tend to take a beating. Unfortunately, homeowners often don’t notice any signs of winter damage until the spring. As a homeowner, what can you do? What are the signs of winter damage and how can you help your lawn recover? Well, worry not – Weed Man knows all too well the impact that harsh conditions can have on your lawn. Read on for tips on reducing winter damage on your lawn this season.
How can I reduce winter damage to my lawn?
Tip #1: Reduce foot traffic on your lawn
Your grass is especially vulnerable during with cold winter weather. While moderate foot traffic shouldn’t do too much damage, avoid walking on the lawn whenever possible. Make sure you have a walking path and try to keep your children and pets from trampling the grass. You should also avoid parking or driving your car over your snow-covered grass. Unnecessary traffic over the winter months can result in dead or brown patches of grass in the spring that may require seeding or new sod.
Tip #2: Protect your lawn from rock salt
Salt from roads, sidewalks and driveways can cause damage when spread onto your lawn. The excess salt can affect the health of your turf and even burn areas of your grass. The damage often shows up around the perimeter of your property and can be hard to avoid if you live on a main roadway. You could consider putting up a mini fence to deflect any spray from the road. Weed Man also recommends purchasing a rock salt alternative for your steps and driveway.
Tip #3: Fertilize your lawn
In order to reduce potential damage to your turf over the winter, it is imperative that you fertilize your lawn before the change in seasons. A good fall fertilizer will allow for the grass crown to build up reserves of vital nutrients that it needs to survive the cold months. Having a strong and healthy grass crown will make your lawn more resistant to disease during the winter, as well as help your lawn green up quickly in the spring.
Tip #4: Ensure your lawn has proper drainage
Lawns with poor drainage are particularly susceptible to ice damage. As snow melts, excess water will puddle on your lawn. If the warm temperatures are followed by a flash freeze, damage can occur to the crown of the grass plant. Be sure to aerate your lawn at least once a year to relieve soil compaction and allow for the adequate drainage of excess moisture.
Tip #5: Mark the edges of your lawn
A common cause of damage to Canadian lawns is related to snow removal. If you do your own snow removal, be careful not to accidentally shovel the edges of your lawn. You may want to consider marking the edges of your property, especially if you hire a snow removal company – that way they will be aware of where they should and shouldn’t be plowing.