3 Tips To Best Protect Your Lawn From Winter Diseases
The winter grind in Michigan has just begun, and we’ve already seen some crazy weather. Over the past month we have seen snow, rain, ice, sleet, hail, high winds, and one random day where it was 55 degrees and sunny. Only in Michigan! Out of the 50 states, Michigan was ranked #2 when it comes to harshest winters. Yikes!
These Michigan winters are not just hard on us; they are hard on our lawns as well. It’s around this time each year when our lawns become susceptible to diseases like snow mold, red thread, pink patch, or fairy ring. With that being said, there are measures you can take now to protect your lawn and ensure a lush, green, healthy lawn come springtime. Follow these 3 tips to best protect your lawn this winter.
Keep A Clean Yard
The first thing you want to do is rake your leaves. If you have not done this already, it’s not too late. Most cities will still pick up your lawn/leaf bags through the second week of December. By removing your leaves you are preventing moisture from getting trapped in between the leaves and your lawn. These wet spots can result in snow mold, which is a fungus that will ultimately kill your grass come spring.
Secondly, you want to make sure all debris is cleared off your lawn. This includes toys, lawn furniture, large sticks, garbage cans, etc… The weight of the snow on top of the weight of the object will kill the grass resulting in large, dead spots once the snow melts. Make sure you check your lawn for these objects throughout the winter as well.
Stay Off The Grass
The snow on your grass is extremely beneficial. As it is working as a shield to protect your grass from being exposed to the freezing cold winds. If exposed, the winds can remove moisture from the grass leaving them frozen, and susceptible to damage. Whether your grass is exposed or covered, you want to do whatever you can to stay off it during the winter months.
Walking on snow-covered grass is putting unnecessary weight on the grass. Which can cause the crown to break. Walking on un-covered grass is also risky. As that grass may be frozen from the winds and any weight may also cause the crown to break. By keeping your driveway and walkways clear, you are ensuring that you and others stay off your lawn during these winter months.
Apply The Proper Fertilizer
While it may be a little late into the season to apply fertilizer, this is good to know for the future. Prior to the first frost, you will want to apply a fertilizer that is high in potassium. Not only will this provide the grassroots with essential nutrients for winter survival, but it will also prevent weeds from growing and stealing those nutrients. Applying a pre-winter fertilizer will protect your grass from diseases now, which allows it to thrive in the winter.