Rapid thaws and freezes will be hard on lawns this spring, landscaper says

Prince Edward Island landscapers are predicting a rough spring for residents who pride themselves on their lawns.

'It's been a lot of ups and downs ... there'll definitely a little bit of ice damage on some lawns'

There isn't much to be done now to prepare for the damage to your lawn, Nathan MacDonald says. (John Robertson/CBC)

A landscaper on P.E.I. says it could be a rough spring for your grass as the blankets of ice coating Island lawns are set to cause some winter kill.

Nathan MacDonald, the co-owner of Twins Landscaping, said he "hasn't seen a winter like this" and there could be a toll to pay for some lawns.

It's hard to really tell at this stage of the game what will play out later on this year — especially for grain— Robert Godfrey

"It's been an unusual winter, it's been a lot of ups and downs with the temperature, but there'll definitely a little bit of ice damage on some lawns, especially the low-lying areas," he said. 

"So if that comes in spring, the grass will probably start to turn white in those low lying areas."

There isn't much to be done now to prepare for the damage to your lawn, MacDonald said. However, when the time comes, Islanders can till the yard up and perhaps put some new top soil down, he said.

With the proper treatment, he said, lawns should bounce back to normal by the summer.

Damage to fields uncertain

As for fields and crops, the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture says that it would prefer seeing a layer of snow instead of ice and that it's not clear yet what the effect will be.

Robert Godfrey, the executive director of the federation, said he's uncertain how this winter's weather will affect crops on P.E.I., particularly grain and berries.

With the proper treatment, MacDonald says, lawns should bounce back to normal by the Summer. (CBC)

"It's hard to really tell at this stage of the game what will play out later on this year, especially for grain," he said.

"It will affect, probably, perennial crops — blueberries, strawberries, things like that — to what degree we don't know."​

Godfrey said "sometimes crops can be more resilient than we expect" so he's not as concerned.

Some people are even laying straw down in their fields, he said, to help them through the season but generally farmers aren't worried.