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Late freeze impacting spring lawn care

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DIG-Late-freeze-impacting-spring-lawn-care(Family Features) Despite the official start of spring, much of the northeast remains covered with snow from the harsh, record breaking winter storms. In addition to being frustrating, late freezing can actually cause extensive damage to your lawn.

The lawn care experts with TruGreen know the proper techniques that must be taken to keep your lawn away from freeze damage. Here are some tips to help yard owners do what they can to help their lawns recover and have a green spring and summer.

Watch for snow mold: Extended periods of snow cover create ideal conditions for snow mold to develop and spread. The damage can be most severe in areas where snow had been piled or accumulated due to drift. Snow mold symptoms begin as small spots 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Grasses are generally matted within the patches. In some cases, small brown or black fungus may be visible on the grass blades. There are different varieties of snow mold; gray snow mold has a slimy appearance and may expand up to 2 feet with a gray-white halo, and pink snow mold patches are typically reddish-brown and then tan. Fortunately, even when damage appears widespread, your lawn can usually recover quickly from gray snow mold with a few practical steps. However, pink snow mold can cause more serious and long-lasting injury to grass roots and may require more homeowner intervention, especially if cool, wet weather continues in the spring.

Get raking: Homeowners need to take action as soon as snows melt and the ground begins to warm to prevent snow mold from causing permanent damage. Use a simple leaf rake to rough up the matted grasses around the snow mold patches. This will improve air circulation and stimulate new grass growth. The recovery should be fairly quick and routine lawn care should be all that’s needed to bring a lawn back to good health. In some cases, applying a fertilizer can accelerate the recovery.

Lower mower on first run: Once the snow is clear and you can mow your grass, try lowering your lawn mower blades for a closer cut for the first mowing of the season. This can help to improve air circulation and stimulate new grass growth.

Plan ahead: It’s never too early to plan ahead for future lawn care. Yard owners can take precautions in the fall to prevent a reoccurrence of snow mold next spring. The fact is, snow mold damage is likely to reoccur if not managed. Practice proper mowing practices throughout the season and keep mowing until the turf stops growing. Going into winter, tall or improperly mown turf grass provides the ideal climate for snow mold development. It is also important to clean up leaves in the fall and manage thatch accumulation with aeration if necessary.

In addition to these tips, remember that you should never apply any lawn care product to your grass, shrubs or trees until you determine if it’s the right treatment for your yard’s specific needs. Once you do, you’ll be ready to enjoy the fun of living life outside with your family and friends all season long.

For more tips for a better lawn, visit www.trugreen.com.

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