During the winter a lot of not so good things can happen to your lawn. If the snow lays on the grass for too long you can get snow mold, which is a fungal disease that causes brown circles in your lawn. These circles can be as large as 12″ or just a couple of inches. There are different types of snow mold, one does little permanent damage to the lawn, the other does serious damage to the grass plants.
The best way to fix the problem of winter damage to your lawn is to rake up the brown areas with a rake the best you can and simply sprinkle some grass seed over the damaged area. There’s really not a lot of magic to planting grass seed. If you have bare soil then you want to take these steps.
1. Loosen the soil at least one inch deep.
2. Rake the soil smooth, but leaving small clods of soil isn’t a bad thing. They actually shade some of the grass seeds. It’s like me or you standing under the ledge of a huge cliff.
3. Apply grass seed with a spreader or shake it on with your hand. Most grass seeds can be applied at a rate of five pounds per 1,000 square feet.
4. Take a broom and sweep over the soil pressing the seed into the soil and covering some of the seeds with just a tiny amount of soil.
5. Apply a mulch that will hold moisture. The green mulch that you can buy at the garden stores that contains a starter fertilizer actually work pretty well.
6. Straw is a bit messy and if you can keep it in place it makes a good mulch.
The Earlier in the Season You Plant Grass Seed the Better and the Faster it will Establish itself.
Spring is the ideal time for sowing grass seed. The soil is warming up but the sun is not blazing hot as it is in the summer. If you water once a day in the spring that should be plenty for freshly planted grass seed.
Snow Plow Damage?
Same thing. Just rake the area smooth, add some topsoil if need be and plant the grass seed as describe above.
Warning! Warning! Warning!
You have to be really careful, and you have educate yourself about grass seed before you go shopping for grass seed. There are really good blends of grass seed on the shelves of the garden stores, then there are some really Not So Good Bags of Grass Seeds. It’s all about what kind of seed is in the bag. I explain how to buy grass seed in this article. And more!
Ouch! Boy Oh Boy did I get Spanked!
Well, I guess it’s not easy being me. A few weeks back I wrote an article about seed, sod or hydro seed and the other day some hydro seeding gentleman took offense about what I had to say about hydro-seed. I’m not exactly your wet behind the ears garden writer who researches then writes. I write from my own personal, hands on, boots on the ground experience, so I stand by what I wrote. In my reply I mention grocery money. Trust me, one summer hydro-seeding pretty much consumed all of my grocery money for about six weeks. I know what I’m talking about.
What about Zoysia Grass? Is it any good?
A couple of years ago I wrote about Zoysia Grass. In all honesty I really didn’t think very highly of it but as it turns out this was one of the most lively discussions that we’ve had here on my blog and I learned that there are huge fans of Zoysia Grass, especially in the south. And that’s why I love you, my subscribers because you educated me! You need to see what folks had to say about Zoysia.
Questions, comments? Post them below and I’ll check back later.
I’m from CA and not use to the Texas clay/soil out here, plus all of the different grass seeds. Bermuda is considered a weed out there, where here it thrives, however not with 20 some Oak trees. I’ve planted every cool weather grass seed there is, and always had gorgeous results. But once the summer heat sets in, bam that’s it. Is there a grass seed that will tolerate shade and some sun, the NE Texas heat and cold winters that stays green year round? I hate to keep buying grass seed and planting it in the fall only for it to die back in July. I’m on a limited income so I can’t do the sod, nor plugs. Believe me I’ve looked into that. Right now I have a partial yard of nice green weeds, since I have a little dog, can’t use the roundup or other harsh chemicals.
I want a green lawn!!!! Can you help?
I think you need to look into a warm season grass that will work for you. It never pays to buck zones with plants or grass.
steven hunt says
I am just across the lake in Ontario
For the 2nd year in a row an animal (I assume its a skunk) has ripped my front lawn up. I believe its after those white grubs, Last fall I repaired the damage using top soil and seed. Do you recommend the same repair or use sod. Also what do I do to eliminate the grubs?
I wouldn’t use sod, re-seeding should be fine. There are a number of granular products on the market for grubs, Grub X is one.
How can I fix my evergreen trees that the deer have eaten. Csn I do anything to help them?
All you can do is trim them up and give them time. More than likely they will come back fine, but evergreens are slow growing so it will take time.
Ron Nichols says
Mike, between your advice here and YouTube, you have all the bases covered with all my questions. I’ll be sure to head over to say hi in the next couple of weeks.
Ron, by the end of April I’ll be spending a lot more time at the nursery, right now we are moving the office stuff all into one office and I’m constantly back and forth. Thanks!
Always loved reading your articles, but our climate is just opposite to yours. We are preparing for winters here in Sydney (Australia) and sometimes it’s hard to look up for articles you posted when your winters were about to begin. Any idea how I can track and connect your useful information with my local seasonal changes?
It is confusing and I’ve had others tell me so. But at the same time I’ve had some very successful growers in Australia so it can be done. If you go to https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/ you can pick where you want to start reading and just follow the blog post forward from that point. Six months later the most current stuff will apply to you.
mike, I want to install a putting green in the back yard. are you familiar with this? what type of base do I need and what type of grass. I live just west of medina ohio, my yard is clay so I assume I need to bring in some top soil or sand. I have tried to find info on his but everyone wants to sell you their artificial turf. how do you ever know if you are paying for good topsoil?
ps I intend to start growing some money making plants but I have been slowed down by medical reasons for 3-4 yrs but I think maybe this yr.
I enjoy your emails.
Let me start by saying that I know very little about a putting green. Most putting greens are raised, I assume they do that to make sure they drain well so don’t get damaged in wet conditions. Secondly, clay is not the worst thing in the world for grass. Most things don’t like clay, but turf grasses seem to tolerate it fairly well and in many case do better than they do in sand and gravel.
I would think the secret to a good putting green is nice tight, weed free turn, creeping bent grass I think. Here’s something about topsoil. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/05/the-best-topsoil-for-you/