Record winter leaves behind damaged lawns

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- The snow is melting and our lawns are starting to reappear and they are ugly and damaged. One of the main culprits: voles, a small animal resembling a mouse that feeds on vegetation. They've been eating away under the snow cover, leaving behind telltale damage on lawns across West Michigan.

"Look at this, I mean, it's just ugly," Rick Vuyst said Friday as he surveyed his own lawn. Vuyst, owner of Fruitbasket Flowerland and WZZM's GreenThumb, said damage from voles, moles, deer and rabbits will be evident to most home owners as they inspect their yards. "In a nutshell it's been a winter for the record books -- unreal."

Snow mold is apparent in many yards. Vuyst says that can be raked away with a leaf rake "to allow air and light penetration into the turf as it warms up and in most cases the lawn will recover."

"As the snow begins to melt people all across West Michigan are going to walk out on their lawn and go, 'What in the world happened?'"

Vuyst says an early treatment of lawn fertilizer is a good first step, but that will do no good until the soil temperature reaches an average of 60 degrees, something he doesn't expect will happen soon.


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