Generally, a good blanket of snow is great for your lawn! It acts as an insulator and keeps the temperature of the lawn at right around 32 degrees, protecting it from bitter night time temperatures which, over time, can result in “winter-kill”. It also protects the lawn from excessive transpiration. You can think of transpiration as “evaporation” from plants. Moisture contained within plants, in this case grass blades, is literally “sucked out” by very cold, dry winds constantly whipping across them.
Some snow cover situations can result in damage to your lawn. We all want to build snowmen but too much traffic over the snow can harm the lawn. Compacting the snow too much can prevent gaseous exchange and basically suffocate the plant. During the winter it usually requires around 30 days of this compacted snow cover before damage is seen. Excessive traffic can also damage the already brittle crowns of the plant.
If you have a lawn consisting of warm-season grasses, such as Zoysia and Bermudagrass, you could also have areas of “winter-kill”. The most susceptible areas are where the snow has been piled up due to shoveling and plowing. As the the majority of the lawn melts off knock down the large snow piles to minimize the time that the turf is covered.
If you have any questions, please let us know.