January 11, 2017

drainage - does your yard look like thisAs a homeowner in the Ann Arbor area, you may be aware that your grass will lie dormant throughout much of the winter season. Freezing temperatures and limited sunlight cause grass to become dormant, and this means that the grass is still alive but essentially is hibernating for the winter. Because dormant grass is still alive, it does require water or moisture from time to time to maintain its health, and you may be wondering if you need to water your lawn during the winter months. More than that, you may wonder if standing water left on the ground from natural rainfall or from watering could damage your yard if it freezes.

The Effects of Frozen Water on Your Yard
Frozen water in the soil can easily damage grass roots, and frozen ponds or pools of water on your grass can kill the blades. Different types of grass are hearty down to a certain temperature, so it is important to research the specific temperature limitations for the type of grass that you have in your yard. Creating pools and ponds of water in your yard during the winter season from watering should be avoided. This is because you cannot control the evaporation rate or absorption rate in the soil, and temperatures often dip below freezing at night. This means that a pond or pool likely will freeze if it stands overnight.

When to Water Your Yard During the Winter Months
Typically, homeowners do not need to water a yard in Ann Arbor during the winter months. Keep in mind that cooler temperatures and less direct sunlight on the yard for shorter periods of time each day mean that natural moisture remains in the soil for longer periods of time. Furthermore, natural moisture from freezing rain, sleet, snow and more are more common during the cooler months of the year. This freezing precipitation will eventually melt and will turn to water for your yard. Never water your lawn when it is freezing or when freezing temperatures are anticipated with the next few days.

How to Use a Sprinkler System During the Cold Weather Season
Some homeowners in the Ann Arbor area benefit from the regular use of a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system offers a convenient way to keep your lawn hydrated during warmer months, but it generally should not be used during the cold weather season. Its use can create ponds or pools of water that can be difficult to dry up before freezing temperatures hit. More than that, the system should be winterized, and this is because the pipes can freeze and rupture. When this occurs, you have a costly repair to deal with, and you also may have water leaking into the yard. This could result in more pooling to contend with.

Standing water can indeed damage your yard if it freezes, and it can come from a variety of sources. While your water still needs to be hydrated during the winter, it is best to allow Mother Nature to handle this job for you until warmer temperatures arrive.