How Can I Tell If My Lawn Is Dead or Alive After Winter?

By Allyn Paul, filed under Lawn Tips.

This Article was just Updated on April 27th. See the very bottom for some good pics of lawns that DID NOT survive winter. Hopefully yours ain’t like these!

I have gotten this question 22 times through my contact email in the last week, so I guess it is something that is weighing heavily on the hearts of my fellow lawn lovers!

If your lawn was mostly green last September and October, then I can bet you that it will be mostly green again once the Spring soil temperatures reach the upper 50’s. Of course, you will probably have a few troubled spots that may not come back due to salt and driveway ice melter damage, or cracked crowns from heavy winter foot traffic, but for the most part, if your lawn was left alone all winter-long, it will recover naturally. God was pretty smart when he made grass!

dormant lawn

There are a few things you can do to help your lawn recover from winter stress. I recently wrote a post entitled “Four Things You Must do for Your Lawn this Spring.”

well manicured lawn in spring.... my lawn

You can also give those troubled spots a helping hand by lightly raking the matted grass so it stands up a little. This will create air flow and reduce the chances for mold and fungus.

Here are some recent pictures I took of lawns are are DEAD! If yours looks like these, you need to think about raking and seeding the areas. It is sometimes tough to tell what killed sections of your lawn. You need to be observant and look at the rest of the lawns around you and other parts of your own lawn. The pictures below were taken in mid-April when the living parts of the lawn were greening up.

It helps if you can remember what your lawn looked liked last October as well. For example, if your lawn was lush and dark green last October, and it’s dead now, then grubs are probably not to blame.

Once again, the lawns below are DEAD! Hope this helps.

 grub damage from previous year




This has been another DIY Lawn Tip from Life and Lawns!


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3 Responses to “How Can I Tell If My Lawn Is Dead or Alive After Winter?”

  1. Lynn McLeod Says:
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1

    Hi: I am a researcher for Nelson Education Ltd. in Toronto, Ontario. I am currently working on our Grade 8 Science textbook and would like to use the photo with the the text “This corner section is dead from …” in our textbook. Could someone please email me at which time we can discuss who has the rights to this image, cost of image and permissioning agreement.
    Thank you,

  2. Allyn Paul Says:
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1

    Hello Lynn,
    That image was taken by myself and I will be glad to speak with you about rights to its use.
    Email to you on the way,

  3. Joe Says:
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1

    I just planted last Nov Zoysia lawn and it just turned brown but I see a couple of leaves that are green. How do I know if the lawn is live or will survive?
    The temperature is around 18°C without any rain but I been watering every night



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