If you’re worried about the health of your lawn while waiting for curbside storm debris piles to be removed, here’s some advice on how to avoid large dead grass “storm spots”: 

  • Create several small piles of debris rather than a few large piles  
  • Push the debris to the left or right each week, if possible, so that no area will have debris on it for an extended period  
  • Keep in mind that a pile of open branches is not as “lethal” as a pile of leaves, as grass needs air and sunlight to survive  

The type of grass underneath the pile will affect whether the spot may survive. Bermudas and zoysias are very likely to have underground rhizome stems pop up and recover the turf. St. Augustine, centipede and carpet grasses have only stolons (runners) and it is unusual for large, damaged spots of these types of grasses to repair themselves, but healthy green stolons present after debris removal indicate there is a chance for a comeback.   

Re-establishing grass 

If it’s time to re-establish grass in the spot, experts from the Louisiana State University Ag Center recommend planting vegetative material (solid sod, mature grass pieces, or plugs/sprigs) as the surest route to success, rather than seeding the spot, because seeding at this point in the summer or later is likely to produce young grass that won’t survive the first freeze of next winter.   

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