Even the best cultivated and maintained lawns can suffer from cold damage during times of harsh, cold weather. Damage can include:
- Snow mould (we covered this in a previous post)
- Crown hydration (this happens when a sudden freeze is proceeded by warm weather. This can lead to the turf grasses absorbing lots of water which then expands and freezes in the cold weather, killing the crown of the grass. Sadly, there is little one can do to avoid crown hydration).
- Winter desiccation (even when the ground is frozen solid and cold, dry winds blow, grass can continue to transpire, which is the grass's natural ways of moving waste products like oxygen out of their systems. Unfortunately, it also removes water. When the roots of the grass are frozen solid, they are unable to replace the water that has transpired, so the cells of the grass roots can die. This usually leads to browning of the grass and can even kill the crown of the grass).
FIXING COLD LAWN DAMAGE
Resodding or reseeding are usually the best methods of fixing damage caused by cold weather, with resodding being particularly effective for large patches of dead grass, while reseeding is ideal for spot repairs.
To resod, simply remove grass that is dead from the lawn, and replace it with new sod, watering well.
To reseed, dehatch and aerate the existing lawn first, and also consider scratching the lawn. Then reseed!