3 Common Causes, Winter Lawn Damage, winter kill, snow mold, Crown Hydration, Winter DesiccationWinter isn’t an easy time for humans or plants. The snow, freezing temperatures, dry wind, and hungry critters can all take their toll on dormant yards, causing winter lawn damage. When the snow melts, if you begin to see large parts of dying or dead turf emerge, you may be experiencing winter lawn damage.

What Causes Winter Lawn Damage?

Winter lawn damage (aka Winter Kill) happens for three reasons, crown hydration, winter desiccation, and snow mold. 

Crown Hydration

Crown hydration is one of the most destructive yet least preventable forms of winter kill. It commonly occurs during the late winter months when warmer daytime temperatures cause the snow to melt, followed by rapid freezing temperatures. These extreme temperature fluctuations cause thawing and rapid refreezing that create ice crystals in the grass cells that rupture and cause plant death. 

Low lying, poorly drained soils prone to standing water are most at risk. Crown hydration damage can vary from extreme turf death to minor damage.  

Winter Desiccation

Winter desiccation is a common winter injury. It occurs when a plant loses an excessive amount of moisture for two reasons. 

  1. It’s not drawing enough moisture from the ground because the ground is too frozen.
  2. Dry wind removes the moisture too quickly. 

Plants can’t survive without water. If it loses too much water, it becomes desiccated. Winter desiccation affects non-native plants, tender perennials, or evergreens.

Snow Mold

The final cause of winter lawn damage on our list is snow mold. Snow mold is a fungus that forms in the excess thatch and matted grass under the snow. Snow mold appears after the snow melts. It forms fuzzy or web-like patches of diseased grass, which typically grow in a circular pattern. Snow mold most commonly occurs when snow falls on the ground that’s not yet frozen. You can take measures to stop it before it starts

If you suspect Winter Kill in your yard, call a lawn care professional to help you repair your lawn.

Keep Your Lawn Healthy Year-Round

Don’t let your lawn succumb to Winter Kill. Invest in lawn care services from Nichols Reliable Lawn Care & More. We have the experience, resources, and service you need to protect your grass all year. Contact us and sit back and enjoy your yard. Call today! 479.502.2192

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