It’s almost time to dust off the ol’ snow blower. While your attention may rightly switch from grass to snow as it starts to get cold, it’s important not to completely shove your lawn out of mind. Being a little proactive—especially when snow blowing—is sure to pay dividends come springtime. Let’s have a look:
- First and foremost, stake out your lawn. Outline your driveway, pathways, and any other obstacles you may encounter while snow blowing—and don’t skimp on the stakes. It’s better to have too many than not enough. Snow stakes are something that aren’t worth skimping on, seeing as though they’re sure to be used year in and year out.
- Likewise, make sure you stake them before the first freeze, otherwise it will be near impossible to get them in the ground.
- Make sure your lawn is free of debris before the first snowfall. If the auger on your snow blower encounters anything that’s not snow—sticks, rocks, etc.—things can get ugly. Not only can this damage your snowblower, but it also can potentially harm anything or anyone in the thrown snow’s path.
- Skid shoes. Skid shoes allow your snow blower to glide smoothly and evenly over your driveway, leaving as little snow as possible in its wake. It’s more than likely, however, that your driveway and your lawn aren’t completely even, and having skid shoes and an auger cut into your lawn can make repairing it a headache when the snow thaws. While this can usually be prevented by properly staking out your boundaries, if this does happen, you’ll likely have to reseed the damaged section during spring.
- Snow blowing on grass. There are plenty of reasons you might need to run your snow blower over your lawn, some of which might include: clearing a path to access a grill or shed, or giving your dogs a little area to stretch their legs and take a pee. Regardless of the reason, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind so you don’t damage your grass:
- Adjust your skid shoes. Snow blowing on grass is a bit like snow blowing on gravel. You want to make sure you’re not running your blower directly on the ground for the reasons stated above.
- Go slow. While it’s best practice to go slow regardless of where you’re snow blowing, it’s even more important on grass. Going slow will both reduce the risk of harming your lawn and it will also lower the chances of clogging your machine with snow.
- On paper, waiting for all of the snow to fall before snow blowing seems like a great idea. Make one pass with the snow blower and you’re done, right? While this might work with an amount less than six inches, any amount more than this and it may actually be more inefficient. If you’re expecting a big storm, consider doing two or three quick passes as opposed to one big one.
Following these steps are sure to keep your lawn in good spirits by the time temperatures warm up and your grass begins to revive itself out of dormancy.