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After a frigid winter …

Get ready for green grass

– Eventually this will all go away – the finger-freezing temps, the mini-Mount Everests on corners and cul-de-sacs, the school closings and delays, February. They’ll all be just a memory – a long, miserable rotten memory.

But let’s not be bitter about this winter.

One of these days the sounds we’ve become accustomed to of snow blowers and cars growling with the morning start will be replaced by the serene song of baseball on the radio and lawn mowers in the distance.

Yes indeed – lawn mowers. Beneath that yard of snow is a yard with grass.

And you’re thinking, “Grass?”

It’s that green stuff between your house and your street. You’ll recognize it when you see it again.

Just like one’s hair needs to be groomed following one night beneath the blankets, imagine the kind of attention your lawn requires after months and months of burial by snow.

“This will not kill the grass,” says Gary Lallo of Lawnscape Land Management.

But some additional attention may be necessary because of the long, cold, miserable winter.

Lallo and Brian Woodward, of Kapp’s Green Lawn, agree that the constant snow covering is likely to create a mold on lawns.

“It will be either a pink or gray snow mold, and that’s simply because the snow has been on there for a long period of time,” Woodward says.

“Basically, the grass is a vertical blade, and you get something that’s weighted with snow on top of it with moisture – and there’s also an insulating factor … it’ll lay down on its side. Once that happens, it’s the same thing if you throw a plastic bag on your yard and let it sit there. It’s going to create a mold underneath of it, and creates a snow mold, which can be pretty detrimental and pretty rough on the yards.”

The suggestion is to get the grass from lying down and to raise it up with light raking. It also helps the grass and the soil dry quicker.

Because crabgrass could also be an issue, Lallo said chemical treatments may be necessary.

“A homeowner who is a do-it-yourselfer will want to put down a good pre-emergent to control crabgrass if they’ve historically had a crabgrass problem,” Lallo says. “Some homeowners who want to do some preventative maintenance, a granular fungicide would be a nice application.”

Both lawn care experts also say it’s a good idea to disperse the larger piles of snow that line driveways and sidewalks. That way the snow melts evenly and, when it’s time for early applications, the chemicals will go directly onto the lawn and not a stubborn patch of snow.

And finally comes the first cut. Wait until the ground dries a bit.

“I would be a little cautious on what they use to mow their lawn, and try to keep the heavy equipment off,” Lallo says.

stwarden@jg.net

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