Should a lawn company in Florida even talk about the possibility of frost damage? Well. Today we woke up to an unusual sight: our Port Orange lawn was covered in frost!
The unusual cold weather which has hit Volusia county may be one of the factors associated with climate change, which is affecting our backyards. But unless you’re are a Snow Bird (or you are originally from a different state), you may not be acquainted with the effects frost can have on your grass.
Let’s begin by saying that grass is very hardy. It may actually not be affected by this type of frost that much (we’re talking about a temporary Florida frost after all). Did you know that frost may even be helpful in strengthening your grass? This is a positive side: as the grass blades adapt to being frozen, the root structure will grow stronger.
Clearly, frost damage is a thing.
You may wonder why you’re seeing frost on your grass even though temperatures didn’t reach 32℉ (official freezing temperature). This happens because temperature at ground level is different. Most thermostats measure temperatures are measured at 4 ft above ground level at least. This means that your grass is still potentially exposed to freezing temperatures. Additionally, plant cells slow down their production of energy with lower temperatures – and energy is also a source of inner heat for plants, which is also lost.
The light freeze we experienced, surely did not reach the soil. The roots are not affected, and the nutrients will keep flowing into the grass. A “hard freeze” instead will likely kill the grass, or recovery may be much harder. Brown patch lawn disease is a recurring consequence.
Tips to care for a frosty lawn:
Wait for the frost to completely disappear before mowing your lawn.
Do not walk on frozen grass.
As the grass blades are frozen, they will likely break. Additionally, the frozen water inside the grass blades will also break and this will cause internal cellular damage. Your lawn may recover with time, but not before a while.
Rake your leaves.
Just like anything which becomes frozen, leaves will be heavy. Basically, an ice block crushing your grass. You will want to remove this possibility of extra damage.
Water your lawn before an expected freeze
Water will turn into ice, right? So what is the logic here? If you water your grass the day before a possible frost is predicted, it will allow the moisture to evaporate slowly overnight. The process of evaporation creates “friction and heat” type of energy all around the grass blades. This “extra” heat will help the blades against reaching those freezing temperatures needed to actually freeze the water inside the cells. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s just science.
This is not really lawn related, but we’ll throw it in here as a reminder. As stated many, many times before, this is a wonderful solution to many problems (like weeds). But mulching keeps your plants, trees and shrubs protected from cold temperatures.
Our Lawns can help you!
If you have any issue dealing with your lawn, whether it’s an unusually cold Port Orange winter, or a baking hot Port Orange summer, we’re here for all of your yard needs!