The official 2018-2019 winter weather forecast from the Farmers Almanac has been published and you guessed it, New England is about to have yet another cold and snowy winter. For those of us who have to drive in the white stuff, or worse yet, shovel it, this is NOT good news. But what about your lawn? Could snow actually be good for your lawn? The answer is in fact, yes. Here’s why…
The vicinity around Boston, Massachusetts gets around 50 inches of snow each year. Some years we get far greater and other years far less. On average, however, we see our fair share of snowfall. The good news is that a light blanket of snow (around 4-5 inches) and the regular melting of this snow can actually be good for our lawns and plantings.
- Snow is a fantastic insulator. When the temperatures in our area drop to below freezing, the layer of snow can be protective and insulate your turf from the harshest winds and sub-zero temps.
- Snow protects your lawn from a what is known as “transpiration.” This evaporation process from the leaves and blades of grass can cause a drying of the organic matter in your lawn and garden. Usually, this happens when plantings are open to the dry wind and sun. A coating of snow stops this process.
- Snow melt also helps the groundwater supply. When the temperature warms above freezing, the melting snow is absorbed into the water table beneath ground level and acts as a moisture reserve during the hot dry months of summer. Melting snow also has the nice effect of evenly pulling nutrients into the root zone.
Snow can be a positive factor when it comes to your lawn and garden. However, here are some warnings when it comes to snow.
- Stay off snow-covered or frozen lawns to keep from harming the fragile crowns of the grass. This means that when you build a snowman or track through your lawn, you are potentially harming the grass beneath.
- Avoid leaving large amounts of salt or deicers in the snow. Salt and chemical melts can burn and harm the grass beneath. Use minimal amounts and only where needed.
- Be aware that excessive piles of snow along walkways and driveways can cause snow mold. Try to prevent large piles from accumulating in one area.
We can’t keep the snow from falling, but rest assured that it can be a benefit to your lawn and garden this winter. Stay warm and safe and, as always, if you have questions, call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.