When the snow melts and you get to see what your lawn looks like after another long winter is when most homeowners cringe. Common spring lawn problems in southern Wisconsin are either left over or blown in leaves, sticks and branches, dog stains and poo, mole & vole damage, patches of brown and green grass, rabbits and other chewing critters that gnaw away at bushes and other woody landscape features, salt damage, snow mold and everything else that could possibly make you want to close the blinds and hide.
- First off, if you see that you have snow mold don’t worry. That is a pretty common problem, usually in areas that have heavy snowpack and areas where the grass got long in the fall. Normally a light raking separating and loosening the grass shoots from any leftover snow will, with a little patience go away in no time.
- The patchy discoloration of brown and green grass is normal and will soon all green up after the temps warm up and we start getting rain. If it won’t green up in time and fertilizer doesn’t help then you will want to call in some help for a better diagnosis.
- Moles and voles can do a lot of damage over the winter and eradicating them is usually your only effective means of getting rid of them for good. There are other methods that you can try though, just go to your local supply store and you will usually find several interesting ideas on how to get rid of them.
- Dog urine stains can fade once the grass starts growing and spreading again. If not you will need to take off the top layer of dead grass and put down a patch of new seed. Try alternating areas for the dog to go so the grass has a chance to bounce back.
- If you have salt damage normally around hard surface areas, you need to rake up any salt still there and water any left over salt into and through the grass root zone of the soil.
- Rabbits and deer can wreak havoc on bushes and small trees. If you see the damage in the spring it’s obviously too late and hopefully not fatal. Next year you can prevent this by protecting the bottoms of the trees with a hardware cloth or small fence.
- For sticks and leaves, blowing out bushes then raking up all the loose debris in the lawn, picking up branches and sticks getting it ready for the first mow is the last step.