The Dangers of Poor Drainage in Your Winter Lawn

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 @ 04:12 PM
posted by Brad Pannone

Poor drainage in your landscape can cause a host of problems. When rainwater doesn’t run off or escape your yard the way it should, it can cause erosion issues and create pools of water that can quickly threaten your landscape’s health and appearance. While poor drainage is a concern throughout the entire year, it can cause some specific issues like crown hydration during the winter months.

What is Winter Crown Hydration?

Winter is a stressful period of time for your grass. It is important that you do everything you can to prepare your turf for freezing temperatures. This includes making sure you have proper drainage in your yard. Without adequate drainage, your landscape is susceptible to crown hydration, otherwise known as “grass freeze.” Crown hydration may not seem a big concern during the winter, but it can contribute to a bleak and even dead lawn when spring arrives.

Crown hydration occurs in the winter when your grass suddenly stores fresh moisture in the crown of its blades (or the part of the grass that is level with the soil). This can happen when there is excess moisture due to poor drainage and when the temperatures suddenly rises or fluctuates – which we know is not uncommon for Georgia! As the grass sucks in water, it can quickly refreeze and expand when the temperature drops. In turn, the cell membranes of your grass become damaged and your turf can die.

Why Lawns with Poor Drainage Are Most Affected

A lawn that is collecting excess water is more vulnerable to turf death caused by crown hydration. Any time your grass is holding excess water when freezing temperatures hit, crown hydration can occur. Thus, it is important that you take measures to prevent poor drainage before winter this year.

Preventing Crown Hydration

An expert from Pannone’s Lawn Pros & Landscaping can evaluate your landscape and determine if you have poor drainage that could cause crown hydration this winter. Preventing
crown hydration may include the following:

  • Fill in depressed areas of your lawn (large sunken spots or small divots).
  • Fertilize and add potassium to your soil in late fall to strengthen a weak turf.
  • Improve your lawn drainage (rain barrel, French drain, etc.)
  • Choose plants with a good run-off (broad-leaved varieties that create a canopy channel water away)

Need help preparing your lawn for the winter? Concerned about poor drainage in your landscape? We can help! Call Pannone’s Lawn Pros & Landscaping today.

Posted on behalf of Brad Pannone
Pannone’s Lawn Pros & Landscaping

Comments are closed.