Every lawn sees its share of damage. We use them for countless activities, and they’re constantly exposed to the elements.
While having all four seasons is a great experience to have living in Colorado, it can require extra flexibility and diligence in your lawn care. Here are five threats to the greenness of your lawn, and how you can combat them for the greenest grass on the block.
1. Sudden Freeze
In Colorado, snow can roll in on even the sunniest days.
Like most plants, grass is susceptible to frostbite after sudden freezes. Plus, the blades are nimble after a frost, so wait until get warm again before walking on or treating the frost-damaged grass.
Water your lawn once or twice a day, as the freeze can prevent water from reaching the roots, causing dehydration.
Rake away any dead grass, as this can cause thatch build-up. Wait to mow your lawn until the grass grows beyond the browning. Any nitrogen will make it worse, so skip fertilizing until your grass is back to normal.
2. Sudden Heat
Just like a snowstorm can come out of nowhere, the moody Colorado weather can call for a heat spell here and there. It’s a nice break when we’re in the middle of winter, but it can cause lawn issues such as insect infestation and desiccation, or extreme drying.
To get rid of mites and other insects, there are natural solutions you can make at home that are safe on grass and repel most pests.
For dry, dead patches of grass caused by desiccation, rake all dead material from the area, cover with a light layer of topsoil, and re-seed. Water regularly.
Use grass seeds of the same species as the rest of your lawn. Keep the area moist and avoid dried-out seeds by watering every day.
3. Long-Term Snow
When a layer of snow has laid on the ground long enough to penetrate your grass, it can cause snow mold. Snow mold appears as a pink or gray crusty substance.
The best thing to do to get rid of snow mold is increase the amount of drainage via thorough aeration. Water as normal.
4. Pet Damage
Colorado being the sunniest state in the country makes for plenty of yard play days for your pets. Unfortunately, that means lawn damage.
For urine spots, rake away any dead material. Cover the spot in a layer of extra-fine ground limestone to absorb any remaining urine. Water it, and let it sit for a week before covering with a layer of topsoil and planting new seeds.
5. Humidity Fluctuations
While Colorado is known for its dryness, we can get waves of humidity after long storms. When this fluctuation happens regularly, it can create dry soil and humid air—the perfect environment for a fungus detrimental to your lawn called Dollar Spot. This fungus causes small, dollar coin-sized dead spots that can spread rapidly.
Water your lawn daily in the early hours so it can dry out by the evening. Re-fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer.