‘May damage grass roots’ Lawn care expert issues warning over snow

Met Office forecasts snow in northern parts of UK

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The Met Office has issued a plethora of weather warnings for ice and snow across a number of parts of the UK. The yellow warning for snow and ice will likely bring travel disruption and will cause icy patches on pavements, patios, lawns and decking. When snow falls and temperatures drop, so too does the soil temperature in the garden which can make gardening a challenge during cold weather.

While a snowy lawn might look pretty, it can damage your lawn and lead to problems like snow mould, also known as Fusarium Patch.

The fungus attacks the leaf and crown of the lawn while the snow is melting. Signs of the disease include small patches of yellowing, dying grass and lawns with a whitish, matted appearance.

As UK weather experts predict freezing temperatures and blankets of snow to hit the UK this week, Jonathan Hill, lawn expert at Rolawn has shared his advice to ensure lawns withstand the snow.

Keep off the grass

As tempting as it may be, try not to use lawns when the ground is wet, frozen or covered in snow as this is when the grass is most “vulnerable”.

Jonathan said: “Any damage caused now may not repair until well into spring.

“Keep vehicles away from your lawn too, the weight and grip on tyres can easily damage the wet ground beneath the snow.”

Let snow melt naturally

It’s best to allow snow to melt naturally on lawns rather than trying to melt it using salt or other methods.

Jonathan said: “Heavy snowfall tends to apply an even pressure on the lawn and it should bounce back when temperatures warm up.

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“It’s advisable not to use rock salt to melt snow from your lawn, not only can salt leave a residue, it may damage grass roots.”

Don’t pile snow on lawns

Snow often needs to be moved from patios, pavements and driveways for safety purposes.

However, snow should not be piled on lawns, this should be “avoided” if possible.

“Heavy piles of snow can cause stress to the lawn and waterlogging can be an issue as large piles melt,” Jonathan added.

Prepare to overseed

Light damage to lawns, from making snowmen or creating snow angels, for example, may leave patches on lawns once the snow has melted.

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A well-established lawn should repair in spring when the weather warms up, but it often pays to have some grass seed in case any overseeding is necessary.

Jonathan said: “The good news is that grass is hardy and can usually live quite happily beneath snowfall without any long-term issues.

“In fact, snow can actually form a degree of insulation for the lawn and the temperature between the ground and snow often remains stable, letting enough sunlight through for photosynthesis to continue.

“With a little consideration during the coldest months, when spring conditions return new growth will begin and you should see your lawn recover from even the harshest of British winters.”

Invest in high-quality turf

The better the turf’s quality, the better chance it has of survival in harsh weather conditions.

Ensure turf is bought from somewhere with a good, established reputation to increase the likelihood it’s of good quality.

Turf can be laid at most times during the year but do avoid laying it if it’s frosty or snowy.

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