Most folks got at least a few inches of snow this past weekend during a record setting October snow storm. The impact on your lawn can be summed up in a few basic scenarios with the first involving moderate to substantial leaf litter on the ground now snow covered. Left uncollected, these piles of leaves can be trouble for your lawn as colder weather approaches with snow that will not melt until spring. As soon as you can remove leaf piles and other debris brought down by the heavy, wet snow you should plan on doing so to prevent smothering areas of your lawn. The thicker the leaf pile, the better it will mulch your grass leaving dead spots and bare areas next year.
If you have your driveway plowed, now is a great time to put up stakes marking the edge of the lawn indicating the transition from gravel or pavement to grass. Snow plow damage becomes visible in the spring time as snow recedes, exposing chunks of sod and grass tossed aside to dry out and die. Without help, snow plow operators can have difficulty determining where your driveway ends and the lawn begins. Such an error is commonplace during late night snow storms and can result in significant lawn damage. Using posts, stakes, or sticks can provide a simple, yet effective signal and minimize or prevent the edge of your lawn from being “relocated”.
Even though it is now November, if you got caught with your lawn still needing another cut- say over 3” in height- don’t feel odd pulling out your mower for one last farewell mowing. Many folks can remove leaves and mow simultaneously so this is a great opportunity to “get two birds with one stone” as the saying goes. A clean, short cut in November is one way you can say “I love you” to your lawn before the onset of winter.
Many tree limbs were damaged by the weight of the snow with leaves still turning colors, many still green! Be sure to have those branches cleanly pruned to help reduce future insect and disease damage. Of course, remove as many downed branches on your lawn as possible, leaving the lawn surface as clean as possible before winter truly arrives. Completing these basic housekeeping items can give your landscape the edge it might need to survive an unpredictable winter.