It is generally thought that there is little you can do to look after your turf in the snow and to a certain extent this is true, but there are still several precautions you can take to ensure your high quality turf is damaged to a lesser extent by the extreme weather.
The best solution to prevent the snow from damaging your grass lawn is to cover it up with an over-ground cover or to install an underground heater; however for most of us this isn’t possible (and seems a little extreme!) so these tactics are typically reserved for football or cricket pitches.
Instead there are simple actions that we recommend to help protect your roll on turf from the worst of the damage:
- First off the better the quality of your lawn turf and the more effectively you use fertiliser to increase the strength of your roll on turf throughout the year, the better its chances of survival in harsh weather conditions.
- Avoid walking across your lawn when the snow has settled. We know that it’s fun creating footprints or snow angels, but the downside is that this can cause compaction of the snow in to the turf which damages the frozen tufts of grass beneath.
- Furthermore, when your lawn turf is soaked through following a thaw avoid walking on it, as this can cause compaction and damage to the delicate grass leaves. This is particularly important during the first year of establishment of your roll on lawn turf as, like a young child, it is more vulnerable to extreme changes in its environment.
- Watch out for the development of diseases such as snow mould, which you can’t see until the snow has melted away. The best thing to do in this case is to ask for advice and take action to remove the disease as soon as you see it forming. See more detailed information below to know what you are looking for.
Spotting Snow Mould
This is one of the severest lawn turf diseases and it is hard to manage. Although it can be found throughout the year the most obvious time is following a snow thaw, hence the name snow mould.
The disease starts out as small patches of yellowish, dying grass, which eventually turn brown. These patches increase in size and may start merging together as the disease spreads. In wetter conditions a white or pink fungus may also start to grow at the edges of the patches.
If you are concerned about snow mould then the best thing to do is to get in the experts but there are also actions you can take yourself:
- Help your lawn turf to dry out quickly after wet weather by airing it out. Raking or spiking your roll on lawn turf will help with this, as will pruning back overhanging hedges and trees.
- Improve general airflow over your grass lawn by removing any dead leaves in the autumn
There is only one fungicide available to homeowners for the control of the disease, which is trifloxystrobin. It can be used throughout the year and in frozen conditions but the disease can build resistance to it so it is best to use it sparingly (about twice a year) and in conjunction with other fertiliser methods.