When you have lawn work to do, it’s easy to want to get up as early as possible to start it. Cooler mornings may seem like the perfect time to get in some gardening, but did you know that stepping on a frosty lawn could cause severe damage?
What is frost? In climates such as Columbus, Ohio’s, it’s not uncommon for the ground to produce dew that freezes on objects such as grass and plants. This frozen dew, called frost, causes the grass and plants to become hard.
Why is frost damaging to plants? Although the exact reason is not known, frost is most likely damaging to plants because the water inside the plant is frozen and the plant tissue is brittle. Another reason may be that the frozen water punctures the plant structures, causing serious damage. Whatever the reason, stepping on frosty grass causes injury to your lawn.
What kind of damage occurs? Damage to frosty plants will not be noticeable until 12-48 hours after the accident has occurred. Your lawn might look bruised and have a purple or black hue. The grass may turn brown and die. Injured grass is more susceptible to disease and weeds.
How can I prevent damage? To prevent injury to your Columbus, Ohio lawn, wait until the frost has thawed to step on your grass or begin yard work. Make sure that children and pets stay off the lawn and post signs for delivery persons so they know to watch their footing. Many sporting teams, such as soccer, will post a game delay if there is frost on the ground to protect the integrity of their playing field. In addition, most golf courses do not allow games to start until the frost has thawed. Some golf courses turn on the sprinklers to aid in the thawing process, especially in shaded areas.
Have patience with your lawn in the mornings and do your best to prevent frosty lawn damage. Contact TM Garden Design for help with designing and maintaining your landscape!