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Why You Should Keep Off Your Lawn During A Frost

Why You Should Keep Off Your Lawn During A Frost

There’s something magical and almost romantic about walking through frost covered grass.  The kiss of the cold on your cheek, the crunch of the lawn underfoot… it’s kind of like a child’s storybook come true!  But all fantasy aside, walking on your frosty lawn is a big mistake.  

What causes frost?

Many of the southern states of Australia experience frost during the cooler months.  Frost occurs when the temperature of outside surfaces drops below the dew point.  The dew point is simply the point at which the air gets cold enough for airborne water vapor to condense into a liquid.  Frost will only form on a surface when the temperature reaches zero or below.  Under the right conditions (i.e. clear skies and little wind) these tiny ice crystals that we know as frost form on grass and other outdoor surfaces.

What happens to my lawn during a frost?

Frost itself is a natural phenomenon and doesn’t generally do long-term damage to your lawn.  As we know, water expands and contracts as it freezes and melts again, so yes, this does cause damage inside the blade: cell walls are ruptured as the moisture inside them expands as it freezes. However, the roots of your lawn are below ground level and during a light frost they remain unharmed.  This means that they have a very good chance at healing any blade damage as the grass continues its normal growing pattern.  If the frosts continue for several days or weeks, the lawn may take on a yellowish appearance, depending on the species of grass. Some varieties of grass endure frost better than other. Its always good to check with the experts if you live in areas prone to frost.

Why You Should Keep Off Your Lawn During A Frost

Why should I stay off my lawn during a frost?

Tempting as it is, it’s wise to resist the urge to walk across your frosty lawn.  To put it simply, during a frost the grass is frozen, so any pressure put on it such as walking, driving or mowing will essentially break the individual grass blades.  Yes, it will recover eventually, but it will take time and the effects of the damage may not fully grow out until the following spring.  

How can I prevent frost damage to my lawn?

Of course, you can’t control the elements, but there are a few things you can do to prevent frost damage to your lawn:

  • Educate your family members about keeping off the lawn during a frost
  • Water your lawn deeply the night before an expected frost – this allows the water from the ground to evaporate slowly during the night and will help prevent frost on your lawn
  • Erect temporary fencing such as poles and tape to prevent friends and family from walking on the frosty lawn
  • Don’t let your pets out onto the lawn until the frost has melted
  • Water your lawn to melt the frost

At Rivers Edge Turf we understand the lawn damage that can occur during a frost.  And we’d be glad to share our advice and knowledge with you.  Call us today on (02) 4579 9009 and talk to one of our team members about protecting your lawn from frost damage.

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