Winter tends to be a very tough season on lawns. If you have been wondering why your lawn thins during and after winter, it could be due to any number of factors from unraked leaves to overly exposed grass. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to prepare your lawn for the change in weather conditions. Addressing factors that contribute to thinning of the lawn will help to ensure that your lawn is thick and lush when the cold season ends.
Failing to rake the lawn
One of the worst things you can do for your lawn is failing to rake the leaves. Leaves that cover your lawn during winter keep out that much needed sunlight. When the leaves are left on the lawn, they are covered in snow during winter and this leads to fungal lawn disease or “snow mold”. The disease spreads over the lawn creating brown, dead patches. When you rake the leaves, it prevents moisture and heat from becoming trapped beneath the snow. This protects the grass and keeps the lawn from getting grass-thinning diseases that are common during winter and it keeps your lawn healthier.
Mowing grass too short
It is one thing to mow the grass short during summer, but you should let it grow longer by fall to prepare for winter. Letting the grass grow out longer will offer much needed protection when the snow falls as the base of the grass is protected from frost. Short grass is more likely to suffer due to low temperatures that cause the grass blades to freeze and break. Frozen grass blades can break at the base creating patches on the lawn when the temperatures rise. Let your grass grow out in autumn to provide extra protection for the grass blades when the frosty weather starts.
Poor lawn drainage
It is important to know that melting snow adds an extra layer of water to the lawn. If soil compaction is preventing your lawn from draining properly, the water will remain stagnant in the soil. This causes the grass roots to rot, which also leads to the growth of mold. These factors can prevent the grass from thriving or growing as thickly come spring. Using aeration treatments during the fall can help the lawn to drain the rain and melting snow more effectively during the colder and wetter months of the year.
Insufficient lawn nutrition
Another factor that affects the health of your lawn during the cold season is poor nutrition. A lawn that is undernourished will find it difficult to recover from the harsh temperatures when spring comes. It is very important to ensure that your lawn gets proper nutrients to feed the new springtime grass. You should fertilize the lawn adequately in the fall. It also helps to aerate the soil if it has become compacted, something that occurs due to high traffic that contributes to poor circulation of nutrients.
Protecting your trees
If you have trees on your property, it is important to know that they are also susceptible to the winter temperatures. The cold temperatures can cause the growing wood to become dormant as a self-defense mechanism. Winter sunlight can cause the wood to come out of the dormancy, which can then kill some parts of the wood when shadows replace the sunlight. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to protect your trees. Wrapping up the tree trunks with burlap fabric or cling wrap can protect the bark by helping to regulate the temperature.
Protecting the trunks during late fall and early winter is great for the health of your trees. It is important to realize that wild animals can eat parts of the tree, while others will use the tree parts to build shelter. If the bark on your trees has been stripped away, the tree can become sick and it can eventually die. Wrapping the base of the tree using wire mesh will make sure that it is safe from animals.
Make sure that you knock down any large amounts of snow that gather and weigh down tree branches and shrubs. The heavy snow can strain the branches, causing them to break. Use a broom or stick to gently knock down the excess snow and you will do your lawn a huge favor.
Get lawn care services
If your lawn is suffering from thinning or any other problem, you can get lawn care services to deal with the situation. The experts have different lawn care programs that help to ensure you save your lawn and protect it during the cold weather. You can get the thick lush grass that you love, while helping to ensure that your lawn is prepared for the next winter season. You can find out how to avoid potential winter problems, ensuring that you have a healthy lawn all year round.