Frost damage on your lawn is one of the major downsides of a cold autumn or winter morning. Everything, even individual blades of grass, glisten with magical, silvery ice. But frost is not magical for your winter lawn. In fact, it can be risky to your landscaping efforts
Why Does Frost Damage My Lawn?
Frost forms on clear, cold nights when the air becomes warmer than the grass, trees, and cars. Frost can be light or heavy and the amount of accumulated frost is what determines frost damage. For example, heavy frost can kill flower beds and bring on winter dormancy in plants.
During a frost, the water inside of the blades of grass freezes, thus causing expansion within the cell walls of the blades of grass, splitting them. The ice inside and outside of the grass become microscopic daggers; any step on the grass can cause those daggers to further damage the blades of grass. Thankfully, grass can withstand some damage above ground level. The roots get a chance to heal the damage as grass warms and grows.
After several nights of light frost or after a heavy frost, the plant must work harder to recover. Some lawns will go dormant until warmer temperatures return.
What to Do to Prevent Frost Damage
Thankfully, you are not at the mercy of Jack Frost when it comes to your lawn. There are some things you can do to protect your lawn from frost damage.
- Do not walk on a frosted lawn. Even if you cannot see the frost on the grass, use a sidewalk or driveway instead of walking across the lawn.
- Never drive on the grass in the winter. If the lawn has gone dormant due to colder weather, you still can damage the blades of grass.
- Keep pets in areas where they cannot damage the lawn or wait until the temperatures of the day warm enough to allow the frost to melt.
Keep Watering Your Lawn
It may sound surprising, but one of the most practical ways to prevent light frost damage on your lawn is keeping it hydrated. Deep watering your lawn the evening before a frost allows the moisture to evaporate slowly overnight.
The evaporation process creates a chemical reaction and actual warmth around those tender blades of grass. Your lawn will stay warmer than the things around it. If your lawn does freeze overnight and you must walk on it or let the dog out on it, you can use a sprinkler to melt the ice. If the temperatures are just too cold, do your best to stay off of the frosty lawn.
Provide Your Lawn With Insulation
If you have young grass, grass that is newly planted in the fall, having your lawn care expert cover it with peat moss with help to insulate it and protect it. Avoid straw if possible, because straw can carry weed seeds. A light bedsheet will work as well. Avoid plastic tarps because they can damage the new grass as they freeze and stiffen
Keep Your Lawn Fresh With Executive Lawn Care
Unfortunately, frost damage is visible and the beige hue will present an eyesore to your lawn. Without expert lawn care efforts, it will most likely be spring before any real recovery can begin. The team at Executive Lawn Care knows how to keep your lawn pristine throughout the year and won’t let a little frost get in the way of our efforts. Contact us today to get your lawn scheduled for an expert’s touch.