Will frost damage my lawn?

When we Southerners hear that the first frost is upon us, we wonder “will frost damage my lawn”? Well,  it may look damaged, and you CAN damage frosted lawns but the frost won’t really damage your lawn. It is just about the time for our first frost to be upon us. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, October 19 is around the time of our first frost in this area. You can check your area here. These probable frost dates are calculated from climate normals from 1981-2010, so take that date with a grain of salt. 

What is frost?

Frost on your lawn happens when the temperatures dip below 32 degrees and the water in the blades of your lawn freeze. Here are some things to remember about frost and what it does to your lawn and plants:

  • 29° to 32°F—tender plants are killed.
  • 25° to 28°F—widely destructive to most vegetation.
  • 24°F and colder—heavy damage to most plants.

If you are really into watching the weather and learning about frost, this Memphis area weather man does a great job of explaining it with a more scientific twist.

Luckily for us, we don’t experience the severe freezes very often. For those of us with just a few potted plants sitting around outside, it’s not that hard to move them inside or even cover them. 

What about my lawn?

You might think that frost has damaged your lawn when you see that the lush green has turned brown. A brown lawn isn’t dead. It’s dormant. We like to think of dormant grass as hibernating grass. Just be patient, it will come back to life this spring. However, there is one thing to remember about a lawn that has been covered in frost…

Don’t walk on it!

No one takes their lawn or turf more seriously than golfers, right? This very cool video demonstrates the damage walking on frosted grass does to a golf course and why they have “frost delays”. Depending on where you live and what goes on around your lawn, it might be hard to keep people off the lawn. In that case, here are some things you can do to prevent damage to a frost covered lawn.

  • Believe it or not, watering your grass the night before an expected frost will help keep your lawn warm and prevent damaging frost.
  • Allow your grass to grow longer/taller than normal. 
  • If frost is expected, don’t mow. Freshly cut grass is more susceptible to frost damage.

Living in the deep South makes us forget that we will eventually get that first frost. It is so hot and warm most of the year, it may slip up on us that a frost is coming. We also get so comfortable with our warm fall season that we may forget about taking care of our lawn year round. But don’t let all of the work you did this spring and summer get trampled on, protect your investment. Protect your lawn. If you need help creating your best lawn and keeping it healthy and as beautiful as it can be year round, contact us here. Lawn and Pest Solutions has experience and success in maintaining your best lawn, turf, field or course. 

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