Stop Killing Your Lawn in the Winter

The bad news is that winter is upon us; the good news is that your lawn doesn’t have to be one of its casualties. You really don’t need to do much to your lawn to maintain it over the winter — just don’t kill it. The first thing to remember is to find somewhere else to pile shoveled snow. It’s convenient to dump the white stuff all over your lawn, but try to avoid doing that, especially if you’ve used de-icer on the driveway or walkways. Both the salt in the de-icer and the weight of the snow can damage your lawn. Speaking of shoveling, pay attention to what you’re doing when you get close to the edge of your lawn. Try not to remove chunks of lawn or soil along with the snow. Back to de-icers………traditionally, salt or products containing sodium chloride are used to help melt ice and snow on sidewalks and other pavement. Unfortunately, those formulations tend to damage your lawn the most. That’s because when soil has high levels of salt, lawns and other plants can’t absorb enough water, even though there may be plenty of it thanks to the snowfall. Instead of using de-icers with sodium chloride, opt for ones with calcium chloride, potassium chloride, or magnesium chloride, which are less harmful to lawns and plants. Finally avoid foot and vehicular traffic. When soil is compacted, it affects the lawn’s drainage and ability to absorb nutrients. It’s best to avoid walking, driving or parking on your lawn. For those living in places that get so much snowfall that a snowblower is required, consider putting thin wooden or metal stakes along the perimeter of your lawn to signal where the driveway ends and the lawn begins.