Reasons for Winterkill of Ohio Lawns

Have you ever wondered why your lawn has dry, brown areas that don’t grow back in spring? Here at Portage Turf Specialists LLC, our goal is to help maintain naturally beautiful lawns, so we thought we’d share some information about winterkill with you.

What is Winterkill?

According to the article “Winterkill of Turfgrass” by K. W. Frank on Michigan State University Extension’s site, “’ Winterkill’ is a general term that is used to define turf loss during the winter.” The article goes on to detail a number of causes for winterkill, including:

  • Crown hydration. In late winter or early spring, when there are warmer days with snow melt, turf grass will begin to take up water to hydrate itself. The problem comes when the plants hydrate and then there is a sudden drop in temperature which causes the water crystals to freeze and damage the plant.
  • Low temperatures. Below-freezing temperatures, freeze-thaw cycles and more can affect your lawn. The hardiness level of the grass species ultimately will be a determining factor on how it will fare during cold periods and how it will come through in the spring.
  • Snow mold. Gray snow mold and pink snow mold are two common diseases that occur, usually with the presence of snow. These molds can damage or kill your lawn, and the main way to prevent them is with fungicidal treatments.

A Few Other Factors

In addition to the above-mentioned causes, a few other factors can play a part in killing off lawn and garden plants.

  • In the fall, be sure to rake and remove all leaves and debris. If they are left on your grass, they can either trap moisture underneath and cause rotting, or they can prevent proper moisture from accessing the area to hydrate the grass.
  • Ice melt. Traditional ice melt products contain salts, mainly sodium chloride. If swept off onto your lawn, they can injure or kill the plants and end up in the soil.

At Portage Turf Specialists, we are committed to providing top-quality lawn care while reducing the negative impacts of traditional methods. If your lawn has suffered through the winter, our team of lawn-care professionals can help make it look great again through seeding and renovation practices, aeration, and fertilization. Call us anytime at (330) 296-8873 to learn more or to request a quote in Kent, Ravenna, Aurora, Hudson, or other nearby areas in Ohio.

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