Happy New Year!
January 2016

In parts of the country, the weather has been much warmer than normal for fall and early winter, so what does that mean for  our lawns?
What Does the Warm Weather in
 Fall and Early Winter Mean for Our Lawns?

What are the effects of the warm fall and early winter weather and what you can do to reduce potential problems?

The good news is that warm temperatures in late fall and early winter encouraged root growth in existing lawns and strong establishment of young seedlings in new lawns planted last fall. The bad news is, if temperatures drop too fast, lush top-growth may be more prone to freezing damage. (See photo).  
Avoid  walking on lawns as much as possible until the soil dries out and grass starts growing again in spring. 

If temperatures return gradually to winter norms, grasses should "harden off" and be fine in spring. More of a concern is fluctuating temperatures. Alternate freezing and thawing can kill grasses, especially in low-lying areas where water collects and ice forms. Note those areas now and plan to improve drainage before next winter. Replant other bare spots this spring before weeds have a chance to establish.

What Will be Different This Spring?

Snow Mold
Snow mold may appear even if it does not snow in your area. If the ground freezes, snow mold may occur.  The Snow Mold fungus is mostly a cosmetic issue.  With regular fertilizing and proper mowing, the disease should grow out on its own in a few weeks.  The disease is only affecting the grass blade at this point.  Fertilizing will help encourage new growth and grow out the disease.  There are a few things you can do to help the recovery process. Gently rake the affected areas, removing the dead brown grass into bags and discard. Raking the loose grass out will allow air to circulate the affected area and help the turf grass recover. 

The extended warmer weather may cause the lawn to use up more of it's winter nutrition reserves than usual. This may cause Red Thread.  Red thread usually occurs on turfgrasses during spring and fall.
Red Thread
Red thread symptoms create an undesirable appearance, but crowns and roots are not infected, so plants are not killed and turf eventually will 
recover. From a distance, red thread symptoms appear as circular patches of tan or pink turf about 4-8 inches in diameter. The pink color is caused by the pink mycelium on leaf blades.

Fertilize this spring with  
Green Up  as soon as you are legally allowed and if the ground is not frozen. 

For more information, how-to videos and informative articles visit  jonathangreen.c om
and  NewAmericanLawn.com.  Follow  us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media sites listed below for more information.  
Jonathan Green

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