The northeast is experiencing its typical late autumn chill. Many people have been waking up to frost covering their lawns. There are some turf diseases that show up in winter, but people are often surprised to know that frost can cause lawn damage. Preventing frost damage on your lawn can be avoided by doing simple things such as not walking on it or watering it deeply the night before. If you have any questions on preventing frost damage on your lawn, please don’t hesitate to call your local Valley Green store manager. We have been in the turf industry for over twenty years.
Preventing Frost Damage on Your Lawn
How to tell if your lawn has freeze injury from frost.
If you suspect that your lawn has suffered freeze injury, take a close look at the grass blades. If you notice a burned and discolored tip down to about an inch, you may have frost damage or freeze injury. The good news is that as soon as newly emerging leaf tissue comes up and looks healthy, you can remove the damaged tips with your mower. This will fix the freeze injury problem and your grass will now look great.
How much frost damage can a lawn withstand?
Your grass can withstand some frost damage when it is above ground level. This is because the roots get a chance to heal the frost damage as the grass warms up and grows. Some lawns that experience this damage will go dormant until warmer weather returns in the spring. For cool-season grass, dormancy usually occurs when temperatures are consistently below 45 degrees.
How to minimize lawn frost damage.
If your lawn does end up freezing, you must be cautious when walking on it or mowing it. If possible, wait until the sun is high enough to melt the frost. To speed the process up, you can use a sprinkler to melt the frost with warmer water. This is a technique often used by turfgrass managers at golf courses. You can also give your grass a deep watering the night before an expected frost. Watering allows moisture to slowly evaporate overnight. Friction and heat will form around the grass blades and as the temperature drops, your watered turf will have a slightly higher temperature from the evaporation process. This will keep your grass from reaching the temperature that causes damage to the plant cells.