The Farmer’s Almanac predicts an average temperature winter and perhaps more than normal rain and snow, haven’t we had enough moisture for a few years? No one could have predicted last year’s varying weather patterns, let’s see if I can predict how 2018 weather might affect your lawn in 2019.
We all know about the excessive rainfall totals for 2018 in NJ which where about 25” to 75” more than normal in many regions. A six foot person is 72” tall, wow, that’s a lot of rain! Weeds tend to thrive in wet weather, be sure to follow the New American Lawn program in spring to combat crabgrass and broadleaf weeds. With cool spring weather, if there is a lot of moisture in the ground it will delay germination of newly planted grass seed, at least until the soil temperatures reach 55+ degrees. Too much moisture in the ground also delays proper soil preparation to plant grass seed. Who wants to rake mud?
Laying water and puddling “drowns” the soil. For proper plant growth, water and air need to be present in the soil. Too much rain drives air out of the soil and will inhibit grass growth. Newly planted grass seed might rot if sitting too long in water. Aeration is of little help since the soil goes right back into place with the next rainfall. Consider using Love Your Soil in spring to relieve salt damage and/or compaction in the soil.
If the weather does not get very cold for a long period of time this winter, insect populations could be running rampant next spring and summer. This is because cold, winter weather helps kill off a larger numbers of insects. Even the mosquitos had a hard time breeding last year due to constant disruption caused by excessive rainfall.
Pressure from snow mold may be greater this year due to cold, wet weather from last fall. If your lawn was too lush and leafy before you put the lawn mower away you may get snow mold. Remember to cut your lawn short on the last cutting late in the fall to deter snow mold from developing.
What if we get a long, freezing winter with snow cover for more than 30 days? If this happens we may see some damaged turfgrass in the spring. Too much snow weight plus the cold temperature could kill existing grass. On the bright side, if you tried “snow or frost” seeding you probably will have success unless it washes away.
Road salting can be a problem for your lawn. The repeated deposits of salt from plowing the roads onto your lawn may kill the grass. Too much salt “dehydrates” the plant and if left alone long enough it will kill the grass. Apply Love Your Soil to neutralize road salts on your lawn. Apply these products as soon as you can before spring arrives for the best success.
Perhaps you did some damage to your lawn due to excessive snow shoveling, plowing or chipping away at ice along the edges of the driveway or sidewalks. Maybe your new teenage driver drove on the grass a few times learning how to back out of the driveway? Rake and re-seed these areas in the spring as early as you can get on the lawn to avoid weeds from filling in bare spots.
When you read this article the Super Bowl will be just around the corner. Sadly, it does not look like my team the Eagles will repeat last year’s win. But your lawn can be a winner if you start considering what lies ahead.