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How to Fix the 5 Most Common Lawn Problems After Cold Winter

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

The end of the winter season is a particularly important time for your lawn. While the temperatures are starting to warm up, you still have to deal with any lawn damage brought by the last season. Here, we discuss how to fix the 5 most common lawn problems after cold winter.


Vole Damage

Also known as meadow mice, voles usually range between four and six inches in length. These small rodents have a brown and grayish color.  During winter, voles will go underneath the snow in your lawn to hide from their predators. Here, they will consume not only the grass blades but also the established root systems.

Some homeowners tend to blame moles when they see rodent trails in their lawn during the winter. However, this is a mistake since moles are on their dormant period at this time. Moreover, moles make their tunnels beneath the soil surface. In contrast, voles create runways that severely affect the health of your lawn grass.

Thankfully, the arrival of warm temperatures in spring will naturally help the grass lawn recover. However, areas that were severely damaged would benefit from overseeding. For a preventive solution, do mow your lawn while the grass is still in their active period. Typically, the grass will switch to a dormant stage in the fall season. The last mowing operation before this must ensure that the grass blades are just two inches from the soil surface.


Snow Mold

As the snow disappears from your lawn, any damages brought about by the snow mold disease will become apparent. There are two types of the disease: gray snow mold and pink snow mold. The former is also known as the Typhula blight and it only damages the grass blades.

On the other hand, the pink type or the Fusarium patch is more damaging. Apart from harming the grass blades, the pink snow mold will affect both the root systems and the grass crowns. If you ignore the disease, it will keep on damaging your lawn even until the summer season.

To address the problem, rake the affected the areas to speed up the rate of the snow mold drying out. Get rid of thatch layers that are thicker than half an inch once the lawn is sufficiently dry and you’ve mowed it at least twice.

Use a short mowing height as long as the mold is still developing. Shorter grass will have a lesser capacity to retain moisture that encourages fungal growth. Lastly, overseed the bare patches and continue to build a healthy lawn.

Here is a video of snow mold treatment:



Winter Desiccation

Desiccation is primarily caused by factors such as freezing temperatures, strong winds, and inadequate soil moisture. Winter desiccation will lead to the excessive loss of moisture for your lawn grass. The root systems should normally be able to replace this, but desiccation increases the rate of loss. Afterward, discoloration occurs and the grass crowns begin to perish.

The first solution is to deeply water your lawn — enough to reach the first 12 to 18 inches below the soil surface. Placing a layer of organic mulch will also help the grass retain moisture. Regularly check the moisture level as the spring season arrives and add more water if the rainfall isn’t enough.


Crown Hydration

Crown hydration occurs when a sudden and extreme dip in temperature follows a warm period. Lawn grass that has accumulated enough water before they are exposed to sudden frost will have their crowns damaged. One solution to crown hydration is to improve the soil drainage to help the grass get rid of water when it turns cold again. Moreover, the affected areas should be aerated, top-dressed, and overseeded.


Broadleaf Weed Infestation

Finally, broadleaf weeds can take over the lawn during winter as the grass is in a dormant period. Some of these weeds include cudweed, thistles, clover, and dandelions. Thankfully, these weeds can be removed using selective herbicide. If the affected area is small, you can also remove them by hand. Include the roots so they won’t grow again.

In conclusion, the winter season can severely affect your lawn. However, you can it recover if you know the cause. If the area is too damaged, overseeding or reseeding will help bring back lush grass growth. We hope that our guide helped you improve the health of your lawn. If you have any queries, do send us a comment.


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