Posted on: Dec 31, 2023Raunie
This “Winter” we’ve been having has been lackluster to say the least. However, each winter has different effects on our lawns based on the weather we experience. While there isn’t much we can do to combat the negative impacts of extreme cold, snow, or temperature fluctuations, it is important to be informed so there can be more of a proactive approach to anything mother nature may throw at us no matter the season!
Farmers Almanac Predictions
The weather plays a huge factor in the decisions we make as lawn care professionals. While the forecasts are not always 100% accurate, they allow us to have a general understanding. In combination with the daily weather forecasts from reliable meteorologists, we use the Farmers Almanac to help predict more long-term trends. So far, it has been warm and wet. But be they say to prepare for colder-than-normal temperatures with less-than-average snowfall. Sounds like fun!
No Deep Frost Results in More Insects
Grubs are one of the most turf-damaging insects that we are plagued with each season. When they breed in late August/early September, those larvae grow underneath the soil. If we have a milder winter, it reduces the frost within the soil to a very shallow depth. If the grubs happen to have found their home below that frost line, you will be in line for more of an infestation. When we have a deeply cold winter, that frost line becomes deeper and therefore tends to kill off more grub larvae that is hibernating within the soil.
Mosquitoes and Ticks will also be a problem if we don’t get a deep freeze like we are used to. You may have noticed an increase in the tick populations over the years as well as how close they are getting to our homes and yards. While we may not be able to change the weather, again, being aware of how these changes will affect our living spaces will allow our families to be more prepared to withstand them. We do have a safe and effective program available if you have noticed an increase in mosquitoes and ticks around your home.
Chinch bugs are another turf-damaging insect that is going to cause a ruckus next year. Keep an eye out for those yellowing patches stemming from gardens, bushes, or trees in late July into August.
More Snowfall means Vole damage and Snow Mold
When we have a winter that has more significant snowfall there can be a two-fold effect. First, the snow provides shelter and protection for Voles to create their homes. You may notice that when the snow melts there are small tracks throughout your yard. The best practice if you see these tracks is to fill them in with soil and grass seed to help maintain a thick, healthy lawn. Second, there is more risk of snow mold in the spring. Snow mold typically occurs in the spring along the sides of driveways, where we pile up the snow each time we shovel. This area is the last to thaw in the spring and the excess moisture results in a negative impact to the surrounding turf.
No Snow Causes More Winter Kill
Snowless winters are great for our backs but bad for our lawns! Snow provides insulation for the crown of the root and therefore results in better protection from winter kill. The less snow we have, the more exposure there is to the most vulnerable parts of the plant. So as much as we may not like the snow, it’s an important part of our seasonal ecosystem.
Whatever the inter may throw at us, it is important to be prepared with the right tools on hand to give your lawn the TLC it needs each spring. This helps it stay thick, lush and healthy season after season.