Did you know that when your snow plow service comes to clear your driveway, all the driver needs to do is take a glance at your snow-covered yard to predict serious lawn problems come spring?
Eerie, isn’t it?
It’s not magic, really. All it takes to predict the condition of your lawn once the snow melts is a basic understanding of the effect snow has on grass.
Tracks = Damage
From their high perch in the truck, it’s pretty easy for the plow driver to see that your family likes to play in the snow. Your tracks are everywhere!
That’s not a big deal unless you make a habit out of it. Daily foot traffic – as well as your kids’ sleds, snow angels and wrestling matches – can damage the crowns of your grass.
Snow Piles = Suffocation
Snow is actually good for your grass. One reason is that is protects grass from excessive transpiration. It helps keep moisture in.
As always, too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. Remember how you learned in grade school that plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen? That’s true in winter, too.
Well … compacted snow – think snow men, snow forts, piles you made as you cleared your porch over and over – can suffocate grass. No gaseous exchange, no more grass.
Cleared Area = Exposure
Another reason snow is good for grass is that it acts as an insulator. Snow helps keep grass near a comfortable (for grass, anyway) 32 degrees.
Bitter temperatures overnight can result in “winter kill.” Cold, dry air sucks out the moisture in your grass and kills it in a process called cold desiccation.
That means when snow is removed from one part of the lawn to another (to make a fort, maybe?), the effect is a double-whammy on your grass. Exposure in one area, suffocation in another.
The Solution: Take It Easy and Spread the Love
Grass in areas affected by trampling, suffocation or exposure may not recover by spring. This will lead to uneven growth at best, dead patches at worst.
This doesn’t mean your kids have to stop playing in the snow. You can reduce the risk to your grass by taking three simple steps:
- Don’t walk through the yard more than you have to.
- Encourage the kids to move around and play in different areas so they’re not causing repeat damage to the same patches of grass.
- Spread the snow around as you clear the porch, and consider telling the kids to break down their fort at the end of the day. (Building it is the fun part, right?)
Oh, and one more thing. Think beyond snow plow service!
Contact us today to schedule a lawn care consultation. We’ll establish a maintenance schedule before spring comes that will keep your lawn healthy and enjoyable all year.
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Clean Cut Lawn & Landscape
7415 W Jackson St
Muncie, IN 47304-9759