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Lawn Care After Winter

After a harsh winter, your lawn will need some TLC to return to a healthy state. Revive your lawn from a cold winter by reversing some of the damage caused by salt, snow and other harmful elements.

Here are some problems to look for and the steps to take to help your lawn recover:

Salt Damage

Salt and chemical ice melters spread on roads, sidewalks and walkways can end up onto your lawn and kill your grass over the winter. If you notice dead brown grass when the snow melts (more likely on the edges), it's time to take action. As soon as you can in the spring, soak the affected areas to wash away salt and chemicals. After two to three heavy waterings, plant grass seed and apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter Fertilizer to speed up recovery, or use a 3-in-1 mix such as Scotts® Turf Builder® EZ Seed.

Dog Urine Patches

Dog Urine Patches

The high level of nitrogen in dog urine can harm grass, especially after a long winter under the snow. To start, soak the affected areas with water to remove nitrogen. Badly damaged spots will need to be repaired by reseeding or patching with sod. Scotts® Turf Builder® EZ Seed® Dog Spot Repair contains a special salt-neutralizing ingredient to help repair areas on your lawn burned by dog urine. A more permanent and effective solution? Create a mulched area at the back of your yard and train your dog to go there.

For heavily urine-damaged lawns, test the pH of the soil using a soil testing kit. You want a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 - if it's below this, consider applying lime with a spreader to help reduce soil acidity. Be sure to apply lime and fertilizer at least two weeks apart to avoid damaging plants.


Piles of snow sitting on your lawn can cause compaction come spring time. If it's difficult to insert a shovel in the ground when the weather warms up, then there's a good chance the soil is compacted. Weeds are also a telltale sign of a problem. Since it's best to aerate when your grass is at its peak growing season, wait until later spring to start the process.

Bare Spots

How to Reseed Patches of Lawn & Bare Spots

If you notice bare spots on your lawn post-winter, you'll want to address them right away so weeds don't invade these areas. Try to use the right grass seed mix for your growing conditions, i.e. sun & shade, dense shade, high traffic, etc. If weeds have already started to emerge, use Scotts® EcoSense® Weed B Gon® to control the weeds without harming the grass.

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