As winter turns into spring repairing bald spots in the lawn comes to center stage. It is not uncommon for the lawn to be damaged during the winter. And it is often the case that a thinning lawn is due to the death of individual grass plants. Such damage occurs in winter when the total amount of sunlight reduces significantly. If the immediate vicinity also include a building and trees then there is even more of a chance that sections of your lawn lack sunshine for as much as 5 or 6 months. The result is permanent shade and dampness.
If the previous winter was cold and dry, then damage to the lawn may not be too bad because more sunlight than average had a chance to affect the lawn. However, if the winter was mostly cloudy and wet, then there may be even more damage than usual because of minimum sunlight and drowning grass plants.
And, if don’t think it could be worse, then consider this. Mild winters may result in the presence of moss, which damages the grass further and makes it wither away.
It doesn’t end there. Summer die back can commonly occur around trees when leaves block out the sun and when tree roots consume all the moisture that’s left in the lawn.
Repairing Seasonal Die Back And Thinning
Lawn repair involves removing debris, thatch and moss. It is also necessary to open the soil for aeration with raking or scarifying. When that’s done, then it’s time to over seed the damaged areas. This can be achieved best by assuring good seed to soil contact.
After which it may be time for some fertilizing and then adequate amounts of water to ensure that the lawn won’t dry out.
What Seed Is Best?
If the damage to your lawn this spring is due to peculiar weather conditions, then your choice of seed should be what’s best for the grass now and not for surviving in damp shady conditions. The chances are that the damage that resulted from the past winter won’t happen for a while and if the summer will be hot and dry, you’re going to have to re-seed again anyway.
However, if the lawn damage is a regular occurrence, it may be due to shade resulting from buildings and leaves from trees that block the sunlight. Those areas influenced by the shade of a building may not get sunlight until May. That means soil temperatures will be lower than the rest of the lawn. So don’t seed too early. Maybe you should start a week or two later than normal when temperatures have warmed a little. Mid to late April may be the optimum time. Be certain that weather forecasts confirm that there will be warming temperatures by then.
If an area around a tree needs seeding, then get it done as soon as conditions allow it. You’ll want to have your newly seeded areas well established before the canopy of the trees fill out.