Does Your Lawn Have Winterkill?

It’s a cyclical expectation we have of our lawn.  It dies a bit in the winter, and turns a glorious shade of green in the spring (and hopefully will inspire a similar colour in your neighbour’s faces!).  However, this is not the case for all lawns.  Sometimes spring rolls around and instead of lush, vibrant turf, you're faced with a multitude of dead zones.  This can be due to diseases or winterkill.  To diagnose the issue and to decide which lawn care services are right for you, read on. 

What Is Winterkill?

As you may have surmised, winterkill is when an area of a lawn doesn’t green up after winter.  It is worse during the very harsh winters, although winterkill cannot be solely attributed to cold weather.  The root cause is stress on the lawn.  If a lawn experiences stresses throughout the year (drought, disease, malnutrition), the root system becomes weak, causing the turf to die in the winter.  When the dry, cold weather hits, there's nothing your lawn can do to protect itself from the additional stress.  If the following lawn issues sound familiar to you, winterkill may be your problem.  Need help seeking out your very own greener pastures?  Our Nutri-Lawn services in Burlington can bring out the beauty in any lawn!

Traffic and Hard Soils

Traffic and hard soil are major factors in winterkill.  To better understand this, let's first review some grass anatomy.  All plants, including grass, have roots, which are the arteries that deliver nutrients to the plants.    

If the soil is compacted, strong roots cannot grow; as a result, your grass cannot flourish.  Compacted soils will need our Burlington lawn services (core aeration especially) to loosen things up.

Soil can compact from:

  • Construction
  • Parked cars
  • Foot traffic
  • Or any other activity that crushes the soil

It's important to note that the effects of compacted soil can last up to 40 years, so if you have compacting issues, you'll definitely want to take action with our Burlington lawn care services.

To combat the issue, you have two basic options: 1) till the soil with a tiller before seeding or 2) aerate the lawn if you already have grass growing. Worried about your lawn's health already? Then give our Burlington lawn care team a call now. Appointments book fast, so it’s best to act quickly.

Delayed Drought Damage

Improper watering, especially during the period between July and October, can greatly contribute to the severity of winterkill.  However, you shouldn't take your watering practices to extremes either.  Drowning your lawn won't prevent winterkill; in fact, it could require additional maintenance from our Burlington lawn service team.  The key is to water deeply, but infrequently with your Burlington inground sprinkler system. This will allow your lawn to develop strong roots.  Every five to seven days in the summer is best.  During the really hot weeks, water no more than twice a week.

Trees and Shade Can Increase Winterkill

Aside from causing winterkill, trees can make drought worse, since they can really suck the water out of the soil.  If this is the case, our Burlington lawn services can assist by replacing the turf around the tree with mulch or ground cover in order to improve irrigation and water retention.

Don't let winterkill claim the life of your Burlington lawn. Contact Nutri-Lawn Burlington today for more information on lawn maintenance programs that can effectively treat the effects of winterkill.