One of the most often overlooked maladies of turf is ice damage. I suppose it’s because there is a significant amount of time between cause and effect – the snow/ice occurs in January and February, and the damaged turf appears in April.
Ice damage occurs when a large depth of snow is deposited on a turf surface and it remains in place for an extended period of time, cutting off oxygen exchange and overloading the canopy with water when it should be drying out and exposing the crowns to sunlight.
Ice damage can occur naturally from Mother Nature, or can be created by homeowners that pile large amounts of snow in a small area. There’s very little that can be done to rectify a natural deposition – I mean really, what would you do? Scoop snow onto a deck or driveway? Generally, the idea is to remove it, not add to it.
The best that can be done is to remove snow from sidewalks, driveways, paths and deck surfaces and spread it out on lawns and groundcover beds, avoiding the creation of large piles.
If damage symptoms appear in spring, lawns can be mowed low, powerraked and reseeded to regain density and overall quality.