Posts Tagged ‘winter kill’

Early Summer Lawn Stress

While Vermont and New Hampshire are not suffering through a long-term drought like California, we are experiencing an official drought in many locations, especially in NH. Compounding the problem for lawns is the current high heat. Not only was the spring recovery period skipped, lawns are now into drought stress usually reserved for July. Lawns are simply under horrible growing conditions as we enter early June.

 

 

Winter Kill on a lawn

 
The dry spring and lack of rainfall has not allowed turf time to recover from winter. We are seeing dead white patches mixed in with drought stress. Lawns are looking their worse when May and early June is when they should be looking their best. Winter kill has caused widespread and serious lawn damage on treated and non-treated lawns alike. New grass was especially hard hit but specific turf types like rye and some fescues seemed particularly susceptible to thinning or even death.

 

A dry spring followed by hot weather means trouble for most lawns.

A dry spring followed by hot weather means trouble for most lawns.

 

 

What can be done?
1. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this; winter cold/ice/snow are not controllable.
2. Water for 30 min a day with manual sprinklers or turn up your irrigation system starting immediately until we get rainfall. Make sure your irrigation heads are aligned and providing accurate coverage otherwise turf will still brown with inadequate water.
3. Skip dethatching and don’t mow unless you really need a cut. Mow to 3-3.5”
4. Your lawn may need future repairs this summer or fall
5. Hope it rains soon, and the temperature drops out of the 80’s.

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Water your dry spring lawn

While Vermont and New Hampshire are not suffering through a long-term drought like California, we are certainly experiencing a very dry spring. This lack of rain can cause serious lawn damage.

A dry spring slows recovery from winter cold, ice, and snow.

A dry spring slows recovery from winter cold, ice, and snow.

Lawns do not have enough moisture to break winter dormancy and recover from the cold, ice and snow. I am seeing significant damage and widespread patchy browning from the long cold winter, lingering snow banks and snow mold. However, in some cases the dry soil and lack of rainfall has actually hastened spring greening and recovery.

Even sod is having a hard time greening up with a lack of rain this spring.

Even sod is having a hard time greening up with a lack of rain this spring.

 

My message has been the same to everyone over the past few weeks:
1. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this.
2. Water for 30 min a day starting immediately until we get rainfall.
3. Hold off or skip dethatching until your lawn is actively growing.
4. Your lawn may need future repairs.
5. Hope it rains soon.

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Spring lawn tips

Published by mrgrass on April 10th, 2015 - in Cultural Practices, Home owner tips

As the last-gasp of winter loosens it grip on spring, your lawn is likely covered with gravel, sand, leaves, and crusty black snow banks. Here are a few helpful tips that can get your lawn into recovery mode or better yet, green.

 

Big snow bank

 

 

Rake, rake, rake!

 
Rake as much sand and gravel as possible from your lawn. The less sand and gravel there is on the surface, the warmer the soil , allowing for a quicker green-up. Rocks, sticks and leaves should also be raked up sooner than later. Any object left on the lawn, especially once air temperatures begin to heat up, means the possibility of mulching the grass beneath the object. Without sunlight and air, grass will green around the piles of leaves and branches, but thin or even die beneath the winter debris.

 

Break Up Snow Banks

 
Large snow banks can be broken up with shovels to help speed up the melting process. This year, we ended up with car-sized snow banks or larger. Left alone, these snow banks can last into early May! Break up those nasty snow banks and help the lawn beneath get a breath of fresh air. A good lawn application cannot go down with large snow banks, so the sooner they are gone, the better!

 

 

Spring’s First Mowing
One last note, if your lawn is long and shaggy, give it a nice short cut. A 1.5” to 1.75” cut will enhance turf recovery by removing dead grass and allowing the soil to warm faster with improved exposure to spring-time sunshine. And, sharpen that mower blade now for a neater cut this summer.

 

Everyone was inside all winter, so get outside, take in the spring air and give your lawn a fresh start.

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