How Winter Kill Affects the Look of Your Minnesota Lawn

How Winter Kill Affects the Look of Your Minnesota Lawn
Snow on the grass

Here in Minnesota, the winters can be hard on our lawns. Whenever the warm weather and spring arrive, it is not uncommon for someone’s grass to seem unattractive. Any winter lawn damage that results in a plant’s mortality is referred to as “winter kill.” Our winter weather varies from year to year, with unpredictably high temperatures and unpredictable snowfall. Our lawns quickly deteriorate anytime temps fluctuate from one extreme to the other, just like the roadways. Severe thawing and refreezing can increase the likelihood of winter deaths.

cartoon character mowing
cartoon character mowing with reel mower

Winter desiccation, crown hydration, direct low-temperature kill, ice sheets, and snow mold are the main causes of winter kill. Here, we’ll list a handful and explain them.

Winter Deficiency

Winter desiccation will be discussed first. This normally isn’t a problem during the winters when we have a lot of snowfall. Yet, excessive dryness brought on by a lack of rainfall can happen if we experience a winter with protracted dry spells. When there is no snow cover, the dry winter winds batter the grass, removing moisture and leaving the blades dried out. The grass is unable to absorb water to replenish the lost moisture because the ground is frozen. The grass dies as a result of this.

Winter Desiccation Treatment and Prevention

Winter desiccation is challenging to prevent since the weather is so unpredictable. You can patiently wait until spring to see if your turf regenerates and regains its previous health. You will need to reseed damaged areas if the damage is extensive.

The greatest approach to avoid winter desiccation is to maintain your lawn properly all year long. To help you keep a great, healthy lawn, Thegrassdr Lawn Care offers two different lawn care services. You may improve the health of your grass by attending to the seasonal requirements of your lawn. Strong grass recovers far more quickly and is much harder to damage.

cartoon character mowing
cartoon character mowing with reel mower


Crown hydration, the second most typical form of winter death, is frequently seen as the worst. When there are significant temperature swings, it typically shows in late winter or early spring. The grass is deceived into waking up when the temps rise. It begins to absorb water just like a spring. The water in the grass freezes when the temperatures once more fall below freezing. The result is the inside cells bursting.

This harm causes the grass to suffer severe winter death. Since they are more likely to emerge from winter dormancy at the first sign of warmer weather, cool-season grasses are more prone to crown hydration injury.

Crown Hydration: Preventing It and Treating It

Another form of winter death that is challenging to avoid is crown hydration. The greatest approach to prevent crown hydration, like winter desiccation, is to maintain your grass properly all year long. You can fortify your grass before our chilly Minnesota winters by feeding, watering, and maintaining your lawn appropriately.

Ice mold

As the snow melts in the spring, this fungal disease starts to become apparent. In Minnesota, the white and pink varieties of snow mold become active when it snows. It appears as circular patches of grass covered with water. The most virulent snow mold, pink snow mold, assaults the crown of your grass, giving your lawn an ugly appearance.

Snow mold prevention and treatment

cartoon character mowing
cartoon character mowing with reel mower

By keeping your lawn in good condition, you can prevent problems all year long. You may grow thicker and more resilient grass by fertilizing frequently, controlling weeds, and using the right irrigation methods. A healthy lawn will have a turf that is more resistant to fungus like snow mold. Using fall aeration services to lessen thatch on your lawn will also assist stop an outbreak of snow mold. By the end of the fall, mow your lawn short to keep the grass from matting.

If snow mold is discovered in the spring, allow the damaged areas to dry. Raking the areas and removing some of the thatch will be helpful. In case of emergency, apply a fungicide.

Get Assistance From The Experts at

Thegrassdr Lawn Care

The most effective defense against winter kill is a properly cared-for grass. Let your grass grow stronger and healthier all year long with Thegrassdr Lawn Care’s lawn maintenance services. Winter illness can be greatly avoided with a yearly lawn care program that includes fertilizer and weed control.

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