There’s snow turf like Paynes’ turf!
The UK is in the midst of some of the heaviest snow showers and coldest temperatures we’ve seen for a number of years, with gardens across the country covered in snow. Many of you may be wondering how your lawn will be affected by the snow and ice, so read on for our advice on caring for your lawn in freezing conditions.
A fungal disease called Fusarium Patch (more commonly known as Snow Mould) can sometimes affect turf after heavy bouts of snow and ice. The action of the snow thawing and then freezing creates a layer of ice between the turf and subsequent layers of snow. This is where the problem begins, however the appearance of Snow Mould doesn’t become apparent until the snow melts, as it leaves patches of yellowing, dying turf which eventually turn brown. The lawn may also show signs of a white fungal growth, especially after a thaw.
So what can you do if your lawn is affected by Snow Mould?
First, make sure that your lawn has plenty of drainage; if the water isn’t draining away adequately, aerate your lawn using a garden fork. Find out how to aerate a lawn by clicking here. Secondly, make sure that air can reach the turf by pruning back branches or bushes that may be overhanging the lawn.
To help prevent Snow Mould taking hold of your turf, try not to walk on the lawn when it is covered in snow, ice or frost; when the temperature drops the water already present in the grass freezes and causes the grass leaves to become stiff. This is what makes the grass leaves susceptible to damage. If the grass is walked upon when it’s frozen, the blades will snap and the frost will be able to reach the leaf cells, eventually destroying them.
Tip: Fusarium Patch can be spread across the lawn by simply walking across the grass or by dragging gardening tools or other equipment – another reason to avoid walking on the lawn.
Gardeners can also help to avoid the onset of Fusarium Patch by curbing the use of high doses of nitrogen fertiliser during the autumn months; always use a dedicated autumn lawn feed as this will contain the right amount of nitrogen for the time of year.
There are chemical treatments for dealing with Snow Mould, but these are best avoided if at all possible. Instead, follow our preventative measures outlined above and benefit from healthy, green turf all year round. Just remember, there’s snow turf like Paynes’ turf!