Believe it or not, lawns benefit from winter snow just like they do from summer sun. However, this time of year grass is especially fragile, so it’s a good idea to tread lightly when walking around your snow-covered yard.
Bending, Breaking Frozen Blades of Grass
Due to the cold temps, grass blades are far less flexible in winter. Walking on lighter snow cover can cause all sorts of damage to a lawn. This damage will be noticeable long after the snow melts and spring arrives. During warm spells when some of that snow begins to melt, compacted snow from heavy boots often remains behind in the shape of “reverse” footprints. While the exposed grass is soaking up the sun, the blades under these snowy tracks stay hidden. In cases like this, once the growing season returns, those uneven patches of grass will still be easily and annoyingly visible.
Likewise, snow compacted by footsteps can turn to ice. Snowfall provides an element of protection for the grass underneath, but ice can wreak havoc on it.
Leaving More Than Footprints Behind
Another big reason not to spend a lot of time stepping around your snowy yard is due to what you unknowingly carry with you. Spread salt or ice melt on your sidewalk or driveway? Many of these products are not grass-friendly, and stepping foot off concrete and asphalt paths and onto grass also transports those harsh chemicals, damaging and possibly even killing the grass underneath.
Shoveling Is NOT the Solution
“Should I shovel the snow off my lawn to make paths for my family and pets?”
It’s a good question, and we mean this answer in the friendliest way possible - NO. Please no! Indiana grasses have evolved to handle Indiana winters. They’re as tough as our winters are harsh, but they’re not invincible. Removing blankets of snow exposes your lawn to freezing elements it’s not designed to deal with. Not to mention the act of shoveling itself will tear up your lawn. All that extra foot (and paw) traffic also adds to the damage, and can actually make it worse since the wear and tear is focused on a very small area. For all those reasons and more, it’s best just to leave the snow where it falls.
For more winter lawn care tips, get in touch with our team at Lawn Pride, or check out our official survival guide for a lawn during the winter. We’re here to help your yard weather everything that Old Man Winter brings!