Grass may die during the Utah winter, or it may just go dormant. Dormancy is a natural mode of self-protection for grass, and it’s not a cause for concern. Dormant grass may look tan colored in winter but can be expected to bounce back to the appearance of normal healthy green grass when temperatures become less extreme toward springtime. But, when the grass dies during the winter, it may require remedial lawn treatment to bring back lush, thriving, green growth to your lawn.
Here are the typical causes of grass dying in winter:
Mold Due to Snow
It may seem counterintuitive to accept that mold can form in a snow-covered area. However, when snow is covering warm ground, melting can occur in layers below the surface of the snow blanket, causing the ideal conditions for the development of grass-killing snow mold. The mold can die off without intervention when the sun’s warmth penetrates the lawn in the springtime. But, if mold damage to a lawn is extreme and spreads over a wide area, then reseeding your lawn may be necessary. In that situation, your best option is to use a durable grass species recommended for the climate region.
Grass Crown Desiccation
Desiccation is the removal of moisture. Crowns are the white parts at the soil level, at the bases of the green blades of grass. Respiration during Utah’s low-humidity winter conditions, along with gentle wind, can cause the crowns of grass to lose much of its moisture. Because the roots are in frozen ground, without available moisture to replenish the lawn, the grass crowns become desiccated, and can partially or completely die off due to dehydration.
Grass Crown Freeze
During warm weather with relatively high levels of moisture in the air, the grass crowns become hydrated. Then, If sudden freezing occurs, the water in the crows can expand, which destroys the cells of the grass crowns. When that happens, those grass blades above the crowns cannot be revitalized.
Can You Avoid Grass Death During Winter?
There are various grass types and particular brands that have been developed for applications in the various U.S. climate zones. Some types of grass are better adapted to Utah’s winters and overall arid conditions. They need less water during non-drought periods and require less maintenance, beyond regular periodic fertilization and mowing. They also look beautiful all the way to late fall and return to green quickly in the spring. Consult with your lawn cultivation specialist about the right drought-resistant grass species for your particular lawn’s needs.
Big League Lawns, Ogden Utah
We are a Utah lawn care company providing fertilization, aeration, winterization, and lawn pest control for our customers throughout Weber and Davis counties. We specialize in lawn cultivation and lawn repair. (We do not offer lawn mowing services.) Our team brings more than 40 years combined experience cultivating lawns in Utah for homeowners and on commercial properties. All our lawn care services are top quality and 100% guaranteed.