By this point in the year, you have prepared your lawn for winter and may have already experienced the first frost. Your lawn service has been busy preparing for winter and has likely come and gone for the last time before spring. If you care for your lawn yourself, you most likely seeded your lawn and mowed for the last time this season. You know the first frost is the sign winter is coming. But what exactly does that mean for your lawn?
Understand the effects of frost on grass and how Green & Black LLC can help your property stay lush and green.
What Is Frost?
Frost is much less menacing than it sounds. Frost on your grass is caused by water condensing overnight on your turf grass when the temperature sinks below 32 degrees. Because of the outside temperature, it formed frost. It is not snow, nor is it not ice.
Had the temperature stayed above 32 degrees, it would have been dew. The colder nighttime temperatures that accompany the coming of winter cause morning dew to turn into frost.
Will Frost Kill Grass Seeds or New Grass?
Contrary to popular belief, the advent of frost — even the first frost — does not mean the time to take care of your lawn is over. However, it does mean the grass will stop growing over the next few weeks.
Once frost becomes a regular occurrence on your lawn, the growing process slows or stops entirely because the grass gets less nutrients. New grass is more susceptible because the roots are less established. As the grass takes in water, it often absorbs the frozen water on the blades instead of in the soil.
Learn how to protect new grass seedlings from frost with these helpful tips:
- Irrigate the land before planting: As long as the lawn is green, it is still growing and alive. Therefore, continue maintaining it until it turns brown. If you provide enough water to the soil, the roots can grow strong and resist the cold. An irrigation system will provide steady water and keep the soil moist. Green & Black LLC can install an irrigation system that prevents dry soil without active watering.
- Avoid stepping on the grass: Walking or driving over frosted grass will damage the blades. As the grass freezes, the cells inside expand. When you step on the blades, they snap, which causes damage at a cellular level.
- Water the turf before it freezes: If there is plenty of water in the land, evaporation will generate enough heat to keep the grass from freezing. Deep watering in the evening can allow moisture to release overnight.
- Sowing seeds: The best time to lay new seeds is right after the first frost. This will allow the seeds to become nourished during the winter months, but take the proper steps to protect the new grass from frost.
- Mulch: Straw can protect grass seed from frost, along with lightly sprinkled mulch. Ensure the straw is seed-free, or you might get a surprise in spring.
- Fertilize the land during autumn: The fresh morning dew will help spread fertilizer so your grass can grow stronger before winter. Fertilizing in the fall can also lead to a greener lawn in the springtime. Green & Black LLC provides timely fertilization services so you can focus on preparing for a cold winter.
Can I Mow After a Frost?
Regular mowing provides many benefits to your lawn, including increased resilience and stronger grass. However, mowing the lawn after a frost damages the grass’s brittle blades. The ideal mow temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep an eye on the weather when you are due for a trim.
When the weather gets colder, pay attention to the date of the first frost. Try to plan your last mow of the season around a week to a few days before the first frost so your grass can be as short as possible before winter.
Ensure the grass is dry before trimming it to avoid breakage. If you have to mow after a frost, wait until the sun is in the sky to melt the ice and postpone as long as possible.
The mowers at Green & Black LLC can take the pressure of mowing off your shoulders. We provide mowing and other services so you can head into winter knowing your grass is in the best shape possible.
Trust Our Professional Property Maintenance Services
As you can see, the first frost does not mean it is time to cease lawn care entirely for the winter. It simply is a signal that winter is coming. If you maintain your lawn until it stops growing for the winter, your spring lawn will be beautiful and summer-ready almost immediately. If you’re wondering how to protect new grass from frost or how to protect your property, contact the experts at Green & Black LLC, or give us a call at 651-356-9193 to learn more.