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Here in Wisconsin, it seems like our lawn is under snow more than it is not. (That is probably factually inaccurate, but it sure seems that way!) If you are like most people, you struggle to time that one last mowing just right and then forget about your lawn until the snow melts sometime in May and you get to see what kind of damage happened over the winter months.
We’ve had an ongoing battle with voles who tunnel just below the lawn’s surface during the winter and kill off the grass. They have created so many tunnels that we actually experienced erosion in one area of our lawn when the spring rains came and there was no grass to hold the dirt in place.
The years that we had a lot of snow, we experienced snow mold in the areas where the snow gets piled up like along side our walkways and at the end of the driveway. The years we didn’t have a lot of snow, we experienced windburn and chapping because our plants did not have a layer of snow to protect them from the windburn and frigid below zero temperatures. We felt like we just couldn’t win!
It turns out there are a few things you can do to give your lawn and plants a leg up on winter damage. We’ve tried to incorporate these tips into our “fall routine” in hopes that everything will look at least a little better in the spring when the snow melts:
- Make sure you squeeze in that last pass with the lawn mower. Shorter grass is less susceptible to snow mold.
- Remove leaves as they can suffocate the grass beneath them. (Plus they are a pain in the spring after they have been rotting below the snow all winter.) This was a tricky this year as we had snow in October when most people were not yet done with their raking. Luckily, the snow melted quickly and we were blessed with a few warm days to play leaf removal catch up.
- Have your lawn aerated and dethatched on a regular basis. While this isn’t something you would do just prior to snow fall, both of these will help you strengthen your lawn and keep it healthy. A healthy lawn is more likely to survive the harsh winter with minimal damage and will rebound more quickly once the warm weather arrives.
For even more helpful lawn care tips, TruGreen has generously provided this infographic with lots of great information.