Lawns Coming Out of Winter

March 14, 2013

J.W. Rimelspach, Turf Pathology Program Specialist

The following are situations that may be seen in lawns at this time of year. Some of these may require some care and others will recover with new growth as spring conditions develop and the turf plants grow.

Feeding in lawn from rodents under the snow
More rodent feeding in turf.
Rodents often live in beds and mulched areas. They feed in turf under the cover of snow in the winter.
If the crowns of the grass plants were not eaten by the critters and are alive recovery will occur.
An area of a lawn heavily feed on by rodents, but note the new shoots starting to grow from the crowns. Recovery here should be good. Thin spots like this may be invaded by weeds.
Damage to turf from tire tracks on frozen lawn. If the crowns of the grass plants are alive, recovery will occur.
Damage to edge of lawn from tire tracks on soft ground. This area will require repair work and seeding or sodding. Work can be done as soon as the soil is workable.
The brown grass is NOT DEAD but dormant warm-season grass. These are patches of nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi). As the weather warms in late spring this grass will start to grow again.
Close up of a patch of dormant nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi).
Damaged spots from pet urine during the winter. If the salt levels are high the turf plants may die.