Depending on your location, you may still be experiencing back-to-back weeks of dense and heavy snowfall. Interestingly, snow has its pros and its cons for your lawn. On the plus side, snow can act as a protective blanket, insulating the lawn from extreme weather(like sudden and severe cold snaps). As snow thaws, it also deposits a natural fertilizer, nitrogen, into the grass — just like rain does.
That said, snow can also reduce airflow to the lawn and trap moisture; this can cause something called snow mold. Snow mold will present as white rings on the grass as the snow thaws. Fortunately, snow mold is merely cosmetic; it will fade away with regular mowing and fertilization throughout the spring.
While nature takes care of itself in many ways, there are a few things that you can do once the snow has thawed to set yourself — and your green space — up for a beautiful year ahead.
Clear Your Lawn
Once the snow has melted away, pick up debris and fallen branches and gently rake up pine needles and leaves. Some leaves and needles on the lawn aren’t bad — they provide natural nutrients — but too much can cause the turf to suffocate.
Don’t be too aggressive with your raking; if the lawn is still damp, you may dislodge and rip up new grass growth.
Once the temperature has reached at least 15 degrees, meaning the soil is around 7 to 12 degrees Celsius, your lawn should receive regular watering.
If dedicating time and energy to regular watering is unfeasible, consider installing an automatic irrigation system. Companies like EZ Lawn Sprinklers offer this very thing. Embedded sprinklers can be strategically distributed across the lawn based on plant matter and sun exposure, and instruments come with a reliable timer and even a rain sensor.
Regardless of your watering preference, it’s important for turf to receive around two to three centimeters of water per week for it to stay lush and healthy.
Look into Aeration
If your lawn looks especially compacted after heavy snow, or there are pools of water forming in certain areas after a quick thaw, lawn aeration may help.
Once the ground has dried, plugs of soil (around the size of a wine cork) are pulled from the ground either with a machine or manually with a hand aerator. This act will allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to be absorbed successfully.
For high-traffic areas or gardens with incredibly dense soil (or clay), it’s recommended that homeowners aerate their lawns once a year in the early spring. Aeration every two to three years is ideal for those with soft, sandy soil.
Re-Seed Your Lawn
From mid-April to mid-May, invest in lawn seed and distribute it lightly and evenly across your lawns. Known as overseeding, a touching-up with grass seed will fill in patchy or struggling areas that haven’t recovered after the snowier, colder seasons.
By implementing these easy steps, your lawn will look lush, healthy, and beautiful — ideal for outdoor activities in the coming months.